The political storm caused by the decision of the High Representative Valentin Inzko to impose amendments to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), by which Inzko, if the international community remains persistent, inflicted a serious blow to the policy of collapsing BiH, is still in full swing.
The reactions of the parties from the Republika Srpska (RS) entity are a reflection of the serious political consequences that will result in the long run from the mentioned decision, more precisely the obligation to give up all important personalities who actually implemented the idea of creating RS, but also the narrative of the justice of such a struggle, and understanding formulated by the expression defense-patriotic war.
To recall, the first reaction that could be heard during the first announcements that Inzko could make changes to the Criminal Code mostly went in the direction of understanding that the ban on opinion, even if it referred to established legal facts, would be the introduction of a “verbal offense”.
But, a similar law in a different form, which prohibits the ban of genocide and other war crimes, has existed in Serbia since 2009, which confirms that, in principle, the ban on expressing opinions and views denying established court verdicts or glorifying war criminals is not disputable.
Clearly, the ban on denial of genocide and other war crimes is not an issue for the representatives of the Serb parties in BiH and the authorities in Serbia, as long as it does not include the verdicts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It means that Serb parties will accept a ban on denying any crime as long as Serbian war authorities in the region have not participated in it.
It is important to mention that the criminal law in Serbia, unlike in BiH, does not include the decisions of the ICTY, which ruled in favor of a comprehensive Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE), JCE for Sarajevo, and the Srebrenica genocide involving military and civilian leaders from the then formally and legally non-existent RS.
The question arises as to why there is such a reaction by Serbparty leaders because with and without Inzko’s law, ICTY verdicts remain in force and no personal conviction can change them. However, the “front” for the preservation of the Serbian war narrative, with Inzko’s move, has moved deep into space over which the Serbian authorities have partial control, and that is why there is so much agitation. It was initiated by ICTY judgments, the judgment of the International Court of Justice, judgments of the Court of BiH, and, consequently, manyresolutions from the United States (US) to the European Union (EU). Until recently, the biggest blow was the Montenegrin resolution, but Inzko’s move overshadowed everything else.
The ICTY’s convictions include a large number of individualswho made the most important decisions during the war, and many of them are part of the Serbian narrative of the justice of the struggle and its “symbol”. When the symbolism disappears, and unquestionably it will happen with law, the narrative that an independent RS was the only possible, morally justified, and meaningful goal of the Serbian leadership will slowly erode.
In order to maintain the belief in that “justice”, today’s leadersmust have the political power to create a parallel reality through educational, cultural, and political institutions in which Karadzic and Mladic are heroes, the RS is a state, and BiH a temporary category. Without the constant maintenance of such a reality, Serbian leaders will not be able to maintain the long-established narrative, which in the long run would mean that Serbian politics will have to change its framework of action, goals, and approach, Klix.ba writes.