The Brcko District is the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and the territorial claims of Dodik, who believes the District is part of the Republika Srpska (RS), are increasingly worrying. The announcement in some diplomatic circles of the international community that the time has come to abolish supervision is also worrying. At a time when BiH is the first to be hit by the RS, Serbia, and Russia, who want to destabilize BiH, the abolition of supervision would put Brcko and BiH in danger. The Brcko District would become a training ground for undermining domestic factors, a place of interest for European forces, and a center for a direct clash of American and Russian interests and policies. Dangerous intentions in dangerous times, Federalna writes.
Reactions to the decision of the international community to declare Brcko a district were different in both entities of BiH.
“It is not justice, but it is one step of justice. It is not justice, because the only fair decision was to give Brcko to the Federation,” said former BiH Presidency Chairman Alija Izetbegovic in 1997.
“Regardless of the apostrophized culprits in the very decision why it is being expelled from RS, I personally feel responsible and resign from the National Assembly of RS (NARS),” toldformer RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik in 1999.
Namely, the district model proved to be the best for Brcko. The return of all people has been made possible and Brcko, as in the past, has once again become a multiethnic city, open to all peoples and ethnic groups. It has become a model that is the best example of how coexistence and tolerance of all peoples are possible in BiH, regardless of ethnic and religious differences.
But, after 2012, the attacks of the RS and its representatives on the Brcko District became more and more intense. The ”entityization” of the District, entity citizenship, territorial affiliation, and legalization of entity legal norms are on the scene, directed by Milorad Dodik and the RS authorities. In 2016, Dodik also tried to organize a referendum in the Brcko District on the unconstitutional day of the RS. He was stopped by the then supervisor, who banned the referendum. Dissatisfied with such a decision, Dodik revealed his further plans for Brcko.
“Unofficial information can be heard from diplomatic circles that the Brcko supervisor is considering ending the Brcko supervision. It would be a disastrous move at this time. Brcko is an important point in BiH. We know what happened in Dayton. Peace talks practically depended on Brcko’s status,” stated SDA Vice President Safet Softic.
“I think that the eventual abolition of supervision would certainly encourage these forces of disintegration of both BiH and the district. The district is bothering them. Of course, while the Brcko District exists, it is at this moment, in my opinion, just the connective tissue of BiH, “ emphasized Ivan Krndelj, former Vice President of the Brcko District Assembly.
Also, Supervisor Michael Scanlan was contacted, who did not specifically answer in a written answer to journalists’ questions about whether the possibility of abolishing supervision would be considered. “The jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal for Brcko remains in force until the Supervisor, with the consent of the High Representative, informs the Tribunal that the conditions for its closure have been met. Any speculation, by anyone, about this process can only be seen as an effort to instrumentalize the District for political purposes.”
“So there is a mess in terms of implementing the final arbitraldecision. We still, as the District Government, have not mastered all the competencies of the District,” stated the District Mayor.
Therefore, greater involvement of EUFOR and NATO in Brcko, which are the only strong guarantors of the security and safety of the district, is justifiably asked for.