Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is prevented from functioning as a normal democracy because ethnically formed voting blocs reinforce ethnic divisions, giving additional influence to Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat nationalist parties and potentially isolating the Bosniak majority, said David Pettigrew in Sarajevo yesterday, professor of philosophy, Holocaust and genocide studies at Southern Connecticut State University.
Yesterday, he was the keynote speaker at the weekly session of the Association of Independent Intellectuals – Circle 99, where the participants discussed the topic ”Russian invasion of Ukraine and crimes of aggression: a crisis of sovereignty for BiH”.
Since the Russian Federation occupied Donbas and Crimea in 2014, threats to the territorial integrity of BiH have continued to grow, emphasizes Pettigrew, and the Russian Federation, by supporting Serbia and Croatia, is actively undermining the sovereignty of BiH by reviving Russian imperialism in the region.
He says that the United States (U.S.), the European Union (EU), and NATO should also oppose the efforts of Serbia, the BiH entity Republika Srpska (RS), and Croatia to undermine the sovereignty of BiH in a similar way as they are doing in Ukraine.
”It is important to note that the invasion of Russia is motivated by the ideological concept of the ”Russian world”, which is partly imperialist, partly fascist, and even partly genocidal. The ”Russian world” echoes the Balkans through the ”Serbian world”, the rebranded concept of ”Greater Serbia”, which is characterized by a similar imperialist design in its relation to BiH,” Pettigrew thinks.
The professor claims that another ”world” threatens BiH, and that is the ”Croatian world”, stressing that it was established that Croatian citizens were involved in crimes in BiH within the framework of what was assessed as a ”joint criminal enterprise”and ”armed conflict of an international character”. However, the aggression committed by Serbia and Croatia on BiH was not prosecuted as a ”crime of aggression” because the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) simply did not have jurisdiction over it.
Moreover, the professor also referred to the decisions of the High Representative of the international community in BiH, Christian Schmidt, who on October 2nd imposed changes to the Election Law of BiH, which Pettigrew says are particularly problematic because they were designed to satisfy the ”Ljubic”case that raised the issue of ”legitimate” Croatian representation.
He points out that by his decision the votes of Bosniaks were devalued, and the votes of Bosnian Croats were overvalued, citing as an example Gorazde, where about 22.300 Bosniaks, 24 Croats, 885 Serbs, and 512 Others live, and all of them have the right to one delegate in the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation of BiH (FBiH).
”It seems that the equal distribution of delegates is difficult to explain, and there are more problematic cases. There is also a general lack in the sense that the reform of the high representative is organized in terms of the constituent peoples and vital interests, which only strengthens the role of ethnic parties in the election of representatives,” Pettigrew concluded, Federalna reports.