Politics in January 1999

*Forming RS government , again...

For the last few months there were doubts about new mandatary for RS Government. Miolrad Dodik or someone else? The first mandatory Dragan Kalinic was not capable to get parliament majority to form the new government.
The solution ( in this moment it does not seem the best possible) is offered by Nikoloa Poplasen again.To many regrets, he offered Branko Miljus, political opponent to Dodik and Plavsic. And that is where the problems appear.
Miljus or not?
According to his political opponents, he is the one of the greatest criminals in the last war. And according to him he is the man who will "revive" Republika Srpska. Miljus announced multiethnic government, refugees and exiles returns... It is hard to find the truth. It is intersting that Poplasen, who elected Miljus, says that the things he promised will not become the reality in RS.
While Doodik tries to dispute dignity of his opponent, Miljus spends more time in Federation of BH, as he is seeking local political parties' support for the new government. And he is getting successful. In the name of that program , whichtends to make California of BH, not more or less. Most of the federal political parties decided to support Miljus. Let them think if there is naivete and political blindness in their act.
Promisses which caused "federals" support Dodik and Plavsic a year ago, stayed just promisses. Westendorp office did not state their comments about this case yet , but it is sure they would rather accept Dodik than Miljus, who was a radical party candidate.They will accept Miljus, but it does not mean they will support him. Very democratic.
There should be a session where Miljus will elect new RS government soon, so we will see if he is going to succee in his intends.
*Izetbegovic: the last days?
Are these final moments on Izetbegovic's political clock?
Only few months after the last bosnian elections. Only few months passed since Alija Izetbegovic was elected to be the president (with Radisic and Jelavic) , and already there are some rumors about his retirement from political scene.He said it himself, on SDA new years press conference. Was his retirement planned evem before he candidated?And what was the reason to candidate?
A long time ago, Izetbegovic said his political career is coming ti its end. And then he made us all "glad" with announcement of his recandidation on last years elections. Probably it was the fact presumedby many. SDA was awarethey would lose the elections without Izetbegovic, so they decidedthat he should candidate "for the last time." Once again." And now, when they had won the elections, Izetbegovic can retire. It is obvious that SDA did not have authoritative person who could compete strong opponent leaders and at the same time fulfill the expectations inside the party. Alija for everything.
Edhem Bicakcic is mentioned as izetbegovic's potential successor.
Upcoming period will show if he is capable to continue what izetbegovic had started. And if it will bring any changes on BH political scene, concidering weakening of national parties and uniting of social-democrates...
I hope so!
*Abdic on BH court?
After they got approval from the Haag court, BH justice decided to take care of Fikret Abdic.
In previous decade and a half Abdic was known for lot of things, and in the few previous years mostly for Authounomous Community"West Bosnia", and everything that happened there.Abdic could be on court soon.
for sure, it would be the biggest post-war trials in BH. He is suspected of murders and torturing civilians on teritory under his control, in period between 1993 and 1995. the process was not interesting enoughto enter the sphere of interests in the Haag.The Haag court is intersted only in inter nationalistic conflicts. That was the main reason to transfere the case to BH justice authority. But, the fact is that BH justice will not get Abdic as easy as they got the case.
At the moment, Abdic is in Croatia, but it is not sure if this country will hand over their war partner. And I doubt Abdic will surrender to BH police.Anyway, Abdic will soon be on Interpol lists, and ists of similar justice devoteees, and upcoming period will show he will end behind the bars, what becomes very often ffor war leaders. We will seedestiny of former Agrokomerc-boss, one ofthe most successful businesmen, one ofthe greatest pre-war politicial prisoners, a man who had more votes on 1990 elections than Alija Izetbegovic...
*Foca: when SFOR arrests suspected of war crimes...
SFOR's hunting of suspected for war crimes continues this year.
In arrest attemption, Dragan Gaganovic was shot on Foca, last weekend. He was one of the eighht people from foca suspected of crimesin that town, and he was chief of the police during the war. French SFOR soldiers shot him. According to SFOR, they tried to block the way to his car, and as Gaganovic did not intend to stop the vehicle, SFOR stopped him with few bullits.To regret or not , the whole thing ended bloody and one of the places in the Haag prison stays empty.
Depend on their political oppinions, reactions of peoplie involved in bosnian games, were fanatic- fanaticfor or fanatic against. As usual.
And people in Foca?
As in previous cases, they decide to revenge. Traditionaly, they attacked international police station in Foca. Final score would be: some broken windows, some broken heads, and SFORevacuates international policemen.
International community obviously wanted to showthey will continueto arrestsuspected of war crimes.It is unknown for what reasons. To "clean" their conscienceor because they believein that? We have the fact about enormous increase of arrests in the few last months. many analysts think this is just an overture for hunt on karadzic and Mladic, which should happen in the spring of 1999.
*SFOR destroys captured HVO firearms
It seems that some BH politicians still do not understand who is the boss in this country. And the boss Westendorp allow and what he does not allow. Just as Ante Jelavic did not understand.
So, what did this croatian member of BH Presidency do wrong?
He decided to nominate new generals in croatian part of federal army( HVO) , without established procedures. And not only that he decided, but he did that. He did not work in accordance with the procedure and he nominated generalshe wanted to nominate...That was not all right with Westendorp. Only two days later SFOR blocked most of the HVO military objects on teritory of BH. Beside that, they started to destroy armored cars, firearms, munition and similar things in few objects controled by HVO.
As warning and clear sign for Jelavic- to change the nature of his decission. Destroying still lasts, and that can mean only one thing- Jelavic did not cancel his decission. And until he does, SFOR will have fun by destroying firearms which costedhundreds of thousands of dollars, deutsch marks, convertible marks...
No jokes with Westendorp.
One of the last reports mentioned happenings in Martinbrod-a little town in north-west BH, on the border with Croatia. SFOR forces have expelled Croatian police forces, which were on the bosnian territory for several years.With an obvious resentment of Franjo Tudjman and his political partners.The action had a clear message- seriousness of the international community's threats.Croatian forces were expelled after Tudjman refused to fulfill demands made by international officials cocerning their retreat. Few days back, Croatian police set check points in Bosnian territory, again. They did not last long, but they clearly state the intention of Croatian rulers. The check points were removed after another SFOR action. What seemes like a irrelevant incedent, is becoming the most frequent one, and in the moment of decision about West borders between BiH and Croatia. It is obvious that these actions have nothing to do with a wish of Croatian police to visit the neighborhood. It is also obvious that current Croatian policy, with its ideologist Franjo Tudjman on top, would love to see a larbe piece of Bosnia within their country. So acts like this should not be surprising to us.
It is interesting that no one from BH state government had anything to say about this.
Does it show the future strategy for territory battle? With a hope that all problems will be solved by SFOR.
I am sure that Tudjman will accept the game. The winner would be obvious.
*Towards the Brcko conference
There are less than two weeks until the beginning of conference about the status of Brcko. Session in Vienna should announce the final decision of Arbitration Commission about Brcko. Three and a half years after signing the Dayton agreement, the fate of this city is still a status quo.
Progress is obvious - multyethnicity of ruling structures, returns of the expelled ..Still. it is all very far from normal.
As the session day is getting closer, the activities of Bosnian political figures are getting to be more intensive. But, just looking at the subjects of these activities, it is clear there is nothing new to be heard. Reasons for which Brcko should be in Federation or reasons for leaving it in Republika Srpska... Weak, unintelligent arguments and that is the end of the story. Resignements that were indicated in case of an unfair decision, were never mentioned again. those who know more say that there won't be a final solution.
Being unable to satisfy national appetites, Arbitration commission will probably find a compromise. Which excludes "finality" in decision. Brcko should be a district with a separate constitution in the next 5 years. After waiting for 5 years, citizens would decide for themselves.
It is still unclear which solution will the Commission accept. It is clear that every extreme solution creates a new confrontation. International Community is deeply aware of that.
Will it make them think?
*Srebrenica men "free"
The story of three Srebrenica men who were arrested by the Serb police few months after the bloody Srebrenica summer, continues.
Just for the record, the prisoners, who were roaming around Bosnia after the fall of Srebrenica, were accused of several killings. The trial, ended in December last year, gave them prison for 50 years. In spite of many protests of international and home public.
A few days back, these people were set free. Or, more precisely, conditionaly free. Instead of serving sentence in Bijeljina, they were allowed to do it in Tuzla. Looks like a humane gesture, but really it is a good manipulation created in the heads of federal leaders. This was the most ordinary exchange of prisoners. Three Serb prisoners that were doing time in Zenica prison, were moved to RS. Ideal act for glorification of political powers of Alija Izetbegovic and those around him, which came afterwards. They were responsible for this victory of justice and for "liberation" of the men. There was not much talk about the fact that it was a classical exchange. Important thing was to get political points. Three prisoners were only figures in the game.
"Justice won again". And I curiously ask whom.
*BH Assembly Session
Only few words about the last session of Parliament. The agenda about solving problems concerning the new state anthem, coat of arms, laws etc. But, as usual, they couldn't agree on the agenda so the session was dismissed and prolonged for better days.
New anthem and coat of arms will probably be accepted by C. Westendorp who was the oneto propose them.
More next time. Did you expect anything else?