Serb Referendum Reinforces Illegal Discrimination

Days ahead of illegal referendum, Serb leaders plan strategy to undermine the authority of Bosnia’s highest court. Left to right: Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, and Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic.

Sept. 25, 2016   An illegal referendum held in Republika Srpska declaring Jan. 9th as Republika Srpska National Day is yet another discriminatory and hate-inciting action that received overwhelming support by Serbs in RS. In November 2015, Bosnia’s Constitutional Court declared the holiday illegal as it falls on a Christian Orthodox holiday, which makes it discriminatory against Catholics and Muslims.

Bosnia’s European-appointed High Representative, Valentin Inzko, stated that the referendum violates the Dayton Peace Accords, and expressed concern about the precedent that it sets.

The Serb holiday institutionalizes the day of Jan. 9th, which, in 1992, marked the date that renegade Serbs, under the leadership of now convicted genocidal criminal Radovan Karadzic, illegally declared independence from Bosnia-Herzegovina. That declaration was the catalyst of a three-year campaign of genocide, mass rape, concentration and torture camps, indiscriminate shelling and sniping against civilians and children, and brutal ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs by Bosnia’s Serbs and the Yugoslav People’s Army.

Just three days before the referendum, Serbia’s Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, stated at the Clinton Global Initiative that he is committed to reconciliation, yet he has continuously supported the discriminatory holiday, even though it has been ruled illegal by Bosnia’s highest court. In 2015, while claiming he respects the integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Vucic attended a celebration of the illegal holiday in Banja Luka.

Serbia’s President, Tomislav Nikolic, is equally deceptive in his rhetoric as he too supports discrimination and hate-mongering in Bosnia. Just three days before the referendum, he met with Mr. Vucic and RS President Milorad Dodik, reinforcing Serbia’s support for Republika Srpska’s continued defiance of Bosnian law and civilized behavior.

This referendum and the actions of Serbia’s leaders clearly demonstrate that while those leaders feign moderation, they continue to fan the flames of hatred, and discrimination, and reinforce centuries-old barbarism among Serb masses. Sadly, Serb masses eagerly follow them.

Critical Events in Timeline to RS National Day Referendum

Jan. 9, 1992         Bosnian Serb assembly, led by Radovan Karadzic, illegally declares independence from Bosnia; catalyzes a three-year campaign of genocide, mass rape, concentration camps, indiscriminate shelling and sniping, and brutal ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs by Bosnia’s Serbs and extremist Serbs in the Yugoslav People’s Army (“The Declaration of Proclamation of the Republic of the Serb People of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. Official Gazette of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Serbian). 1 (2): 13–14. 27 January 1992)

Nov. 24, 2015    Bosnia’s Constitutional Court rules Republika Srpska National Day to be discriminatory against non-Serbs (Court’s bench consists of 9 justices, 4 appointed by the Federation, 2 by Republika Srpska, and 3 by the European Council on Human Rights) (http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=11&dd=30&nav_id=96198)

Jan. 9, 2016         Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Orthodox Patriarch Irinej attended a ceremony to celebrate illegal Republika Srpska National Day (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-bosnia-serbs-holiday-idUSKCN0UN0P720160109), reinforcing discriminatory practices by Serbs in RS

Sept. 1, 2016      Dodik visits Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic and PM Vucic to ensure Serbia’s continued support of RS’ discriminatory practices (http://www.groupegeos.com/publications/brief)

Sept. 22, 2016   Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin to subliminally reinforce Russia’s support for upcoming illegal referendum (http://www.eurasiareview.com/23092016-putin-meets-dodik-on-eve-of-bosnia-referendum/)

Sept. 22, 2016   Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic speaks at Clinton Global Initiative in New York stating that he is a genuine partner in peace and reconciliation, and states his is “proud to be a Serb” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj7-V1ryQ8U)

Sept. 25, 2016   RS holds illegal referendum; Serbs vote overwhelmingly in favor of discriminating against non-Serbs and celebrating start of Bosnian genocide (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bosnia-serbs-referendum-idUKKCN11V00B)

Sept. 25, 2016 Dodik states, “I am proud of the people of Republika Srpska, all of those who came out and voted” (http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=11&dd=30&nav_id=96198)

Oct. 2, 2016        General elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dodik’s strategy leverages momentum of illegal referendum to gain popularity among defiant Serb masses; sets stage to use majority vote as mandate for RS secession from Bosnia-Herzegovina

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