“I support and think that it should be marked, but I don’t know if I will come. For me, it honestly does not represent anything special.”
This is how Anastazija Gostovic, a student from Istocno Sarajevo, answers the question of whether she will attend the marking of January 9th in that city, in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity.
She considers that it is a date that is mostly “a product of older generations”.
On January 9th, 1992, the Declaration on the Proclamation of the Republic of the Serbian People in BiH as an independent entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was adopted in Sarajevo, which is celebrated in the RS as the founding day of that BiH entitiy.
The self-proclaimed republic was led by Radovan Karadzic, Biljana Plavsic and Momcilo Krajisnik, who were convicted at the Hague Tribunal for war crimes.
Representatives of Bosniaks and Croats did not participate in making the declaration. These two nations see January 9th as the beginning of the war in BiH, and the beginning of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide against the non-Serb population on the territory of the RS.
The Constitutional Court of BiH has twice declared RS Day unconstitutional.
For Banja Luka Gymnasium student Pavle Kuzmanovic, January 9th is a special date, because it is the baptism of his family – St. Stefan. To this native of Banja Luka, born ten years after the war in BiH, which ended in 1995, RS Day is also important.
“I know that the Day of Republic is when our Republic was declared independent, that is, as an entity of BiH, I don’t know anything in particular,” Pavle mentioned.
In November 2015, the Constitutional Court of BiH made a decision according to which part of the entity’s Law on Holidays that talks about RS Day is unconstitutional, Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.