Politics in February 1999

*Arbitration for Brcko

It has been 15 years since the Olympic Games were in Sarajevo. Arbitration commission for Brcko started their work in Vienna. They were supposed to make the final decision about status of Brcko. As arbitration was getting closer, this "final decision"became less real. Their sessions started at the beginning of this month, and the most possible solution could be the idea of a district area. That would be the way to satisfy all sides.
The commissions' "hard work" will last until the 2nd of March, when they should finally decide. It is too long, especially if you know the decision is already made, and Bosnian "tribe leaders"can't change it. The first part of the session includes BiH leaders' explanations of the reason why they are the ones to get the Brcko. After that, the commission will make the final decision. They were all unsatisfied with Westendorps opinion that the final decision should be prolonged for the next five years. Not many people like this idea.
In the meantime, there are some rumors that Paris conference about Kosovo is somehow connected with this Vienna commission. Some spoke about the possibility of territorial transactions on BiH-Kosovo relation.
Who knows?
Till March 2.
*Republika Srpska : search for the new mandator continues
As you could imagine, Branko Miljus did not become the new mandator of RS government. The man that nobody likes, did not get the majority he needed to succeed. It seems that nobody took his promisses for serious.
Pure reality.
Two states and two governments wouldn't be enough to ensure the ministry positions he had promised. Although he did not prove to be successful in proposing mandators, Nikola Poplasen has his third chance. But, it is already clear that both sides in RS Parliament will hold on to their opinions. At the end, Carlos Westendorp will nomonate the mandator and the government. Nobody said anything about the assembly crisis, although they still don't have their government.
The new mandator will (or will not?) surprised, but he will (or will not?) delighted with the idea. But this choice showed up as a mistake at start. Only Nostradamus knows the end of this episode.
*Dodik against Yugoslavia
Molirad Dodik, unfortunate primeminister (who happens to be in the USA these days) , continues to expand the division between republika Srpska and Yugoslavia.
After he had stopped financial transaction between RS and Yugoslavia, Dodik decided to make new moves. He made a custom over all products imported from Yugoslavia to RS. He seems to accept confrontation a game with Milosevic. But it is not clear if that is his political opinion or he just wants to ensure the International Community that he is serious in neutralizing Milosevic's influence in BiH.
He thinks his actions should confirm Dayton, BiH and RS as something real and inevitable, a state which functions for itself and not for Yugoslavia.
And he also thinks (but will not say that in public), these actions could help his political affirmation in the eyes of International Community. We had a chance to see some similar (but worse) examples in Federation.
Slobodan Milosevic still did not react.
*Against Westendorp & SFOR
Vladimir Srebrov's act of burning the national flag, got its successors. Episode "People against Carlos Westendorp, International Community and similar" begins again. Nobody burned anything yet, but according to some statements, a lot of things will burn. Areas with Croatian and Serb majority saw posters which many people disliked. These posters invite people to clasify international Community and SFOR as occupators and to get them out from the cities and state (whatever "the state" means) in peace and dignity.
SFOR said this act and acters were extremists. And they do not know who actually did that. If they want to know- the union of Croatian veterans and invalids did that ; they said so themselves. They did not make any comment on accusations about aggression. But, one international official said that after the Madrid conference, BiH is practically under protectorate (occupation?) of International Community and Carlos Westendorp who has got all the authorities for "the occupation."
Are these threats serious at all?
If we consider that the end of recent spontaneous gathering of Foca citizens were broken bones, it is easy to assume that internationals suspect everything that moves.
It is up to unsatisfied people now.
*Third entity
Someone said " if you are honest with me I will love you longer." Maybe love doesn't matter, but honesty does.
Unsatisfied with the Dayton agreement, HDZ BiH (Croatian party in BiH) decided to form a new entity-Herzeg Bosnia. They think they don't have as much power and rights as they need, so the solution is to form the entity. I do not know if such political decision could be considered serious, but it is clear that it is the reality which will become stronger and stronger.
Invisible boundary already exists, everybody knows that, that is the boundary left after the war. Croats find they are suffocating from the Federation.
I don't know if they will feel free "on their own". But I don't expect the Dayton cookers to agree so easily. It would be insane to accept that solution, after they had spent so much money, human will, lives etc. to rebuild this country. Do they realy think it is possible to live better just if you have "your own" entity. If it is true, then I am afraid the war was just an overture for the blood games which come after.
Till final division.
I hope NOT !
*Herzegovina religious problems
This month could be very important for the future of the Catholic church in Herzegovina. For its present and future survival in that area.
The ministers of St Francis should leave the chuches after few centuries they had spent in Herzegovina. St Peter's order should take over the church infrastructure. It is based on Pope's declaration. Vatican is determinated to stop a few centuries of St Francis order's history. Still, from the way things look in present perspective, it does not seem they will develop the way Vatican had it in mind. Catholic majority in Herzegovina are opposed to this decision.
For the record, St Peter's order and Vatican itself never admitted the miracle of Madonna in Medjugorje. St Francis order did. The line of confrontation is based on that fact: people + St Francis order vs Vatican + St Peter's order.
This case is around thirty years old. The Vaticans' declaration was first made in 1968. When St Peter's were supposed to take over the churches, they met bricked doors and unsatisfied believers. Even then local population disliked St Peter's.
Back to present days.
The entrance to Capljina church was bricked for several war years because believers refused to accept St Peters priests. The door was unbricked when St Francis' priests came back.
Since sanity has become very rare in this area it is easy to presume the end of this religious episode.
Not so violent , I hope.
*Travnik - explosions, after a long time
Those who remember our previous reports, will remember Travnik.
Well in that Travnik bombs are exploding again. Accidentally (or not) a police officer was blown up. He was a Croat.
Reactions are different, depending on the side. But this was too much for some. The attack on the police officer became one more reason to persuade HDZ in neccessity of forming their own entity ...much safer, as they put it. Urgent meetings were called. IPTF and MUP concluded that the situation in Travnik and the whole canton is extremely bad. Even though Izetbegovic is still trying to convince us that BiH is one of the safest countries in the world. Something needs to be changed.
According to announcement made after the IPTF and MUP summit, many responsible people (responsible for a bad situation) will be beheaded in the upcoming period. That should be enough to prevent flying of ordinary people, flying made by explosions and bad security situation.
*Solving criminal problems inside BiH authorities
Three years after making accusations of bribe, coruption etc, BiH authorities decided to react.
Indeed, it was a difficult decision. The only system they managed to build for their 8-years of rule was the criminal one. And now they have to destroy what is their most favorite and best functioning one.
Still, it seems changes are inevitable.
International Community presure has some effect.
Lately, they announced the list of people who will lose their positions because of what they did (mostly SDA members). Crime, disturbing returnees, attacks on minorities... are just few of the things they did.
And the case of Dzevan Mlaco proves this should be the truth. A man who was very powerful in Bugojno, and was one of the most influential people in SDA lost his power. It was little because of SDA, a little because of Westendorp, and little because of his own stupidity... Nationalist Mlaco was expelled and Bugojno can breathe.
Is this going to happen to the rest of his fellow men?