The Serb member of Bosnia’s Presidency said on Sunday that the administrators the international community has been naming to govern Bosnia were "international criminals" and "con artists" who have violated international law and should be sued, particularly mentioning Lord Paddy Ashdown.
Milorad Dodik, who has been at odds with several High Representatives, said that “we must launch a dialogue about the solutions that were imposed by High Representatives” and that otherwise, he sees no reason for Bosnia and Herzegovina to exist.
Dodik has been advocating the secession of Republika Srpska for years and reminded that this was the Serb wartime goal.
Bosnia’s war ended with a peace agreement that divided the country into two semi-autonomous entities, one for the Serbs and the other shared by Bosniaks and Croats. The two are linked into a country by a joint government, parliament and presidency but Dodik has been complaining that too often international administrators imposed laws or decisions that undermined the autonomy of the entities and always favoured a stronger state, just as Bosniaks do. Many of their decisions violated the peace agreement as they transferred some of the authorities from the entities to the central government, he argued.
Those international officials are “simple con artists” who have undermined the country’s constitution which is part of the peace agreement and that nobody should count on anything imposed “through the violence of the High Representative” to be accepted.
"Any talk about us accepting the legitimacy of the solutions imposed by High Representatives is absolutely out of question,” he told the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA.
“We have to get things back to square one and negotiate them again. Otherwise, I don’t see any need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to exist,” he added.
He said he was repeating for years that Serbs cannot count with “good intentions” of the international community but only with legal and political violence.
"None of the imposed laws were in line with the will of Republika Srpska. For some time we naively believed those from the international community when they were telling us we should adopt them (laws) and later they can be changed,” he said.
But it has become obvious that the Bosniaks now are not willing to discuss those laws anymore and that they can not be changed, he explained.
If they cannot be agreed on, then they can be modified, like the state court and the state prosecution office which “were imposed without any constitutional basis,” he said.
"The judiciary is completely devastated. We don’t have a judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have a corrupt system which is under complete control of foreigners,” he said.
“Their efforts to build a functional Bosnia and Herzegovina is a failure of biblical proportions and they are now lecturing us and saying it’s the fault of local people,” the Serb Presidency member said.
He accused the High Representatives of creating this “mud”, which he said Bosnia would have a hard time getting out of.
Dodik said that the Serbs in Bosnia are not avoiding Bosnia’s Dayton framework, but that they do not want to respect decisions that were imposed.
"The High Representative is an international criminal who violated the Dayton peace agreement," he said. He singled out Paddy Ashdown, saying that the former High Representative is "now lecturing Croatia about what it should do instead of facing some international court for violating international law,” Dodik said.
It is time for Ashdown to finally keep silent or be sued by serious countries like Serbia and Croatia, he said.
"This would be the right measure toward him. He undermined Bosnia and Herzegovina and gave it the fatal punch and that’s why he is now trying to defend it,” Dodik said.
The Bosnian Serb leader reiterated that he was not a Bosnian, but a Serb from Republika Srpska which is his base and from where he was elected into the presidency.
He reminded that Republika Srpska was created in 1992 with the goal to become an independent state and that all decisions that were made then were motivated by independence.
However, three years later it accepted the Dayton concept of Bosnia and Herzegovina because of certain international circumstances, he said.
In the aftermath, Bosniaks and High Representatives devastated the Dayton concept with the goal of completely destroying Republika Srpska, Dodik said.