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January 26, 2018.

Open letter to the UN Secretary-General, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Political Directors of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council

Your Excellencies,

We would like to inform you that the policy of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina is suffering a shameful defeat, identical to the defeat in Srebrenica when UN forces were unable to protect over 8,000 Bosniak civilians from being massacred by the Serb Army and Republika Srpska Police.

This modern-day defeat reflects adversely on the Dayton Peace Agreement, as Republika Srpska’s separatist policy openly violates an order of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and threatens the continuation of genocide against Bosniaks – a situation where the international community seems to have no effective response.

The international community and the UN must apply pressure for the arrest and prosecution of all who denounce and attempt to violate international law. Such is the case of the internationally brokered Dayton Peace Agreement which is now threatened due to the actions of Republika Srpska’s violation of the order of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest judicial authority. Dayton grants international powers the mandate to intervene when the agreement is unilaterally threatened.

We submit that the silence of the international community is a kind of complicity that helps further the creation of Greater Serbia, as was the case in Srebrenica in 1995. In ’95, silence led to genocide. Since then, silence has led to the continuation of genocide denial, the final phase of genocide. It has emboldened those who choose to discriminate against and intimidate returnees to RS. It has given them the perception of a green light to arm themselves and take to militaristic tactics.

The margin of tolerance for Republika Srpska’s policy of counter-systematic separatism has long been expended. We submit that the final response of the Bosniak victims to persistent genocidal threats by RS will inevitably lead to the end of the Dayton Agreement, which will also mean the end of the entity and the existence of Republika Srpska.

The Bosniak people, who in the last 70 years have been the only ones in Europe to carry out the legal verification of the victims of genocide, have a moral right and an obligation to oppose the triumph of genocidal politics and to openly seek protection under the auspices of the international community.

Your Excellency, we respectfully remind you that at the moment of acceptance of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Armija RBiH) disarmed 300,000 fighters under the assurance of peace. With that disarmament, we became the only unprotected people in Europe. That was an acceptable condition as long as the international community provided the guarantee of safety and protection from discrimination and harm. Sadly, the Bosnian people are today without an armed force ready at their defense. They are threatened by heavily armed paramilitary and terrorist formations from RS and Serbia, who openly declare their intent to establish Greater Serbia at the expense of Bosnian and Herzegovinian territory and citizens’ lives.

We also respectfully remind you that Bosniaks conceded to a quarter of the territory within BiH, while the other three quarters of BiH’s territory has been allowed to be governed by systematic apartheid and discriminatory laws that prejudice Bosniaks. In contrast, Bosniaks in the quarter of the territory under their control, respect the equality of all and strictly adhere to standards of democracy and human dignity. The apartheid and discrimination has persisted over the last 22 years. Through its silence, the international community has unintentionally expressed complicity, and ultimately holds a responsibility, yet again, for the ghettoization, intimidation, and isolation of Bosniaks within RS.

It is time for the international community to face up to its mistakes and change its policy of tolerating the continuation of genocide against Bosniaks. We urge you to personally champion this cause on behalf of the UN and for the sake of human dignity.

Your Excellency, we seek your support to call for an urgent session of the Peace Implementation Council to consider actions on the claim that Milorad Dodik and others in RS have violated the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While we will directly appeal to the representatives of the Peace Implementation Council, we feel your insistence to the Steering Committee will underscore the gravity of the situation and the potential threat that is impending over the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We beg you to stop fascism in Europe before it again gets out of hand. The militant and manipulative tendencies and belligerent actions that we have seen out of RS are bound to force the Dayton Peace Agreement to be invalidated. As such, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina will have no recourse but to revert to the only legal framework that permits them to survive as a nation. That recourse would be to reinstate the previous legally recognized Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We anxiously await your response, and thank you in advance for addressing this most pressing matter.

Signatories:

Dr. Emir Ramic
Director of the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada
Eldin Elezović
President of the Congress of North American Bosniaks
Prof. Dr. Smail Cekic
Professor of History, University of Sarajevo
Prof. Dr. Rasim Muratovic
Director of the Institute for the Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law, University of Sarajevo
Prof. Dr. Senadin Lavic
President of the Cultural Community of Bosniaks Preporod, Sarajevo
Magistar Ida Sefer Roche
Director of the Bosnian American Institute for Genocide and Education, Chicago
Zlatka Velagic
Leader of the Voice of the Bosnian Genocide, Seattle and
Leader of the Bosnian American Institute, Seattle