Appeal to the Bosnian Community in Canada
The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada is deeply concerned about the serious situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In response to the introduction of a genocide denial law by the previous High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, the Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik is threatening to quit state institutions – including raising once again a Bosnian Serb army, the very institution responsible for genocide at Srebrenica.
The formation of parallel entity institutions has been described by the current High Representative as ‘tantamount to secession’ and warned that the country is in imminent danger of breaking apart, with a “very real” prospect of a return to conflict. The actions of Dodik should not come as a surprise and is the culmination of years of undermining the work of state institutions and ethno nationalist rhetoric in which he has long-sought to break up the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These destabilising actions are all underpinned by the concept of uniting the “Serb world” – an idea alarmingly similar to former President Slobodan Milošević’s “Greater Serbia”.
The Srebrenica genocide which took place just 26 years ago was the planned and industrialised conclusion of a forced deportation, torture, mass murder and systematic sexual violence which took place across Bosnia by Bosnian Serb forces as part of their goal to create a “Greater Serbia”. It seems incomprehensible to think that we are now facing the chilling prospect of a return to those dark days of the 1990s. So many survivors have already had to endure so much pain and suffering and are now having to once again relive the trauma and anxiety of fearing for their future.
The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada has been working hard with parliamentarians from across the political spectrum in the Canadian Parliament, as well key individuals and organisations to raise awareness on the rapidly deteriorating situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We will continue to work with members of the Canadian Parliament. However, we would like to request members of the Bosnian Canadian Community to write to their local MPs to raise awareness of this issue and urge them to engage with this important issue and use their position to urge the government to intervene in this critical situation.
A template for you to use
Dear [INSERT NAME OF MP]
I am writing to you to express my concerns in regards to the extremely worrying situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result of the actions of the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, who with the support of Russia, is threatening secession of the Serb-majority entity Republika Srpska, the country is facing the most precarious challenge to its stability and security since the end of the war with a realistic prospect of a return to the scenes of violence and conflict we saw in the 1990s.
We must not allow this to happen again as the consequences would be devastating for Bosnia and its citizens and would also have serious implications for Europe.
I am therefore calling upon you as my Member of Parliament to raise this important issue in Parliament to ensure that the Canadian government does the following:
1. The Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995 is upheld and sanctions imposed on anyone who acts in contravention of the principles of the peace accords;
2. Provide the High Representative with unequivocal support, including the authority to exercise his legal powers to directly intervene if necessary in order to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
3. Supports the peacekeeping efforts, and if necessary, provides additional support for the deployment of troops if required to maintain peace and security.
[INSERT YOUR NAME]
You can find out who your local MP is and how to contact them by inserting your postcode on this website
House of Commons
Senate of Canada