Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina
Update No: 128 - (28/01/08)
The pivotal moment
Bosnia is a very significant country. It is right in the heart of the Balkans.
It is attempting to achieve the near-impossible, to form a confederation of
disparate peoples, divided by race and religion.
This is after all the fundamental problems with Iraq, and indeed Afghanistan.
There are surely lessons to be learnt here.
The three diverse communities fall into a most interesting pattern. Two are
Christian, one Catholic, the other Orthodox and the third Muslim. It is a
curiosity that the Catholics and the Muslims live in comparative harmony in the
Croat-Muslim Republic, while the Orthodox Serbs are an eternal irritant to the
body politic as a whole and to themselves in their own Serb Republic, the other
constituent republic of the federal state.
The Serbs opt out?
The outcome of the elections in Serbia in February are going to have a huge
impact in the Bosnian Serb Republic. If the Serbs defy the world by refusing
autonomy to Kosovo, then there is something to be said for the Serb Republic
defying the world by leaving Bosnia Herzegovina and joining up with Serbia.
How that might be done is far from clear, but once the world and the region is
impacted by one UDI, as this is anticipated as one possibility for Kosovo, then
where can that stop?
Assumption a Serb nationalist is elected on 3d Feb in Belgrade, opposed root and
branch to Kosovo becoming independent, with a concomitant reaction in Kososvo by
a declaration of UDI, we are told that this would be followed by recognition
from the USA, and some if not all EU states.
In such an angry climate of opinion, consider a further assumption, that
Republka Srbska also declares a UDI recognised by Serbia, supported by (let us
say) Russia – what happens then? Will the government of Bosnia Herzegovina
move troops into the Bosnian-Serb territories within B-H? Will it seek to arrest
the politicians of a part of their state declaring UDI? What then will follow?
It is to be hoped that the answers to these questions have been thought through
by the powers that are seeking to resolve, or exploit, the problems of the FYRs
of the Balkans.
If moderation prevails, then so may the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Bosnia too.
A lot depends on February 3.