The United Nations (UN) Security Council has scheduled a session on May 11th to discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), based on a report by High Representative Christian Schmidt.
It is important to note that these are regular sessions held in May and November based on the Office of the High Representative (OHR)‘s semi-annual report.
The debate and analysis of the situation in BiH are due to the political crisis and tensions in the country that have lasted for almost a year, but also the war in Ukraine and Russian influence in the Balkans.
This month, the UN Security Council is chaired by the United States (U.S.).
On 11th May 2022, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Christian Schmidt is due to present to the United Nations (UN) Security Council its second, a total of 61st semi-annual Office of the High Representative (OHR) report on the implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (Dayton Agreement) in BiH.
BiH Presidency Member Milorad Dodik, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) headed by Dodik, and the SNSD-led Government and National Assembly of the Republika Srpska (NARS) entity, in a new report, that “leaked” to the public were mentioned 70 times in a negative context, on each of a total of 18 pages, RSEwrites.
In a previous report, Schmidt warned, among other things, that “the country is in imminent danger of disintegration” and that there is a “very realistic prospect of a return to conflict.”
Transfer of jurisdiction and sanctions
OHR reports briefly describe the most important developments since the previous report.
Most of the content of this year’s first report is devoted to the actions of the RS entity authorities.
The SNSD is the ruling party in the RS and part of the government at the BiH level. Schmidt’s report cites situations in which representatives of the party, led by BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik, blocked the work of state institutions – the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, and the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH (PABiH).
The Constitutional Court annulled three laws that tried to register state property with the RS entity, and Schmidt’s report said the SNSD had released a video directly attacking the BiH Constitutional Court for “wanting to seize RS forests, rivers, and agricultural land.”
Ahead of the previous report, Dodik announced, among other things, that he would declare RS independence in six months if that entity is not restored to the competencies of “original Dayton”.
He announced that the RS would withdraw its consent for the establishment of the Armed Forces of BiH (AFBiH), the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), and the BiH Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA BiH), abolish the BiH Intelligence Agency and establish an intelligence agency in the RS entity and withdraw approval for the establishment of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA).
Borrowing and blockades of state-owned companies
Schmidt also presented economic data on nearly 376.000 unemployed in BiH, that the lowest pensions range from 207 to 382 BAM (from 105 to 195 euros), that in 2021 alone about 170,000 people left BiH and that the total public debt exceeded 12.81 billion BAM (about 6.55 billion euros) or about 34.82 percent of GDP.
The report also states that the entity Federation of BiH (FBiH) adopted a budget in the amount of 5.59 billion BAM (about 2.86 billion euros), where a deficit of 929 million BAM (about 470 million euros) was proposed, which the government plans to cover by borrowing.
The RS budget is about 4 billion BAM (about 2.06 billion euros), a quarter of which is covered by debt.
Schmidt also pointed out the difficult financial situation of the public state broadcaster BHRT (Radio and Television of BiH), as well as the Bosnian Railway Public Corporation, the only state-owned company in charge of managing the railway infrastructure in BiH. According to them, the entity Radio Television of RS (RTRS) and the Railways of RS refuse to pay the RTV fee, ie they reduce transfers.