Politics in December 1998

* 1998 - let's see what we have

Another year past Bosnia and Herzegovina. Good or bad, I'm still not sure. And not only that I'm not sure. However, the fact is that 1998. was year of change for Bosnia. Mostly thanks to Carlos Westendorp, High representative of European Union. Let's just remember, for only one year of his "dictatorship" in Bosnia we've got new currency, passports, car registration plates, flag, coat of arms... All those things that were not possible to have in the time when bosnian politicians were asked for permission for that. And percent of people accused for war criminals is getting higher. Lot of them find their new home in The Hague. But, on the other hand, beside all that progress, there are a lot of bad things growing here & now. Social collision is pretty obvious. During the 1998 the percent of attacks on refugees who tried to return to their homes become really big (especially in Herzegovina), Economic crisis is knocking on BiH doors, repression on press is getting higher, human rights - that word is loosing its sense here, nationalism is becoming a kind of state religion, percent of criminal is also growing... What more do you want. Number of people who are searching for their new life outside of Bosnia is bigger and bigger. And what you can expect when you have results of this year elections in your mind. And, just to notice, and the end of this year nobody beat down Santa Claus as it happened a year ago. Well, that could be all. In a short lines. Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998. And 1999? Well see. I hope.
* Ganic signed at last
Special relations agreement between BiH and Croatia is signed at last. Ejup Ganic did that last week in Zagreb stretched between International Community, Bill Clinton, Franjo Tudjman and so on.
It had to be done. The only problem was to explain reasons for signing the agreement which was characterized as catastrophic for BiH future. That is why local media exist. Or, in this case, to stay silent and avoid mentioning the agreement. First step after signing the agreement are arguments about borders. To be precise, it is about border line near Martin Brod, because it is BiH territory and Croatian army is there. They will also try to solve the problem of the Ploce port and creation of free economical zone there.
The future will show if it will be of any use in relations of two countries, and also if it will affect on developing of Republika Srpska and their relations with SR Yugoslavia.
* How did we celebrate the Day of the Republic
We celebrated the Day of the Republic. It is a holiday we took from the dark period of communism and socialism, as memory to date when BiH was proclaimed to be an equal republic.
Republic of BiH we talk about is just a part of the past today. It has been divided and then buried, thanks to Dayton agreement. The borders are controlled by everybody but by federal institutions. Territory of the republic is controlled by everybody but by federal institutions.
Which country and holiday are we talking about?
But that did not stop Izetbegovic from saying pathetic speeches, giving medals for their alive and dead heroes, in order to fool those who are prepared to make social problems.
* Madrid conference
A conference of Council for implementation of Dayton agreement took place in December , in Madrid.
More than 50 politicians from world's political top were there. It was a symbolic moment , three years after signing the agreement. The conference was some kind of revision of what was done in previous period.
And what is important- making plans for further implementation of the agreement and developing of the country. They meant of return of refugees and minorities, reconstruction of legal structure economic reconstruction and so on.
BiH representatives were there as an united group, just formal . In reality it looked a little different. Two entities have different political and social visions, so political commissioners had different opinions.
One of the things which were important on the conference is previous and future role of High representative for BiH, Carlos Westendorp. In their opinion, his last year work was very successful , so he might get even more authorities. I guess, from politics, sport and economy to contemporary banking.
Now he can replace and interfere in case local authorities do not function, which should be the way to realize Dayton agreement. Madrid conference should also be the beginning of two years "transition period". After that time, BiH should be capable for it's independent future. If that means we will be left to our politicians then God help us.
* New federal government elected
The Federals were properly scared before the conference in Madrid, and they realized they had to elect the new government finally. After meetings and meetings, they finally elected Edhem Bicakcic to be the new leader of the government.
What was the problem?
SDA (Party of Democratic Action), who have majority everywhere where majority is needed, was not willing to leave requested numbers of positions in the Parliament to their partners in Coalition for BiH. And then there were conflicts, threats and similar things. To avoid shame, SDA gave up few places in the Parliament. And to make everybody pleased, they will invent a new ministry. To be precise, they will divide Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport in two parts- Ministry of Science and Ministry of Sport and Culture, so that everybody can have his place.
As usual.
* Sarajevo under barricades
Seven years after war started Sarajevo was faced with barricades again.
Asking why? It seems that killing of Sarajevo taxi drivers became most usual hobby of our "neighbors" from Republika Srpska". And, if not killing, than their torturing or stealing of their cars. More than 30 "incidents" that happened during 1998. Are proofing that this is a true. But, case that happened few days ago was... What is enough, its enough. One more driver is killed. During the same night Sarajevo taxi drivers blocked all roads that leads to Republika Srpska. And during the next day few most important streets in center of Sarajevo were blocked. Taxi drivers asked for the thing we are all asking for. Freedom of living, and without fear for our life. Thing that we haven't seen for years now. Most of people protested on symbolic place, in front of Eternal flame, monument for a victims of fascism from Second world war. And than people moved in front of the government building asking for Alija Izetbegovic. Demaning for answers.
Wow, but there was no trace of him, he didn't show up in front of the people. But, he was looking from one side window of the building. One man and I, we saw him... Protest went for some more time, and than it went silent. Somebody promised something so people went away, barricades were moved, Izetbegovic and his SDA party brotherhood is having a nice time again. International community didn't say anything. By Dayton we have a freedom to go. And freedom to die, too!
Another promise.
`Till the next victim.
* About destiny of Brcko again
The day when International Community will announce their decision about Brcko is coming closer. Who will "get" it and under which conditions? This means dramatization is becoming more intensive. They say it would be unfair to legitimate politics of genocide which existed in this town in
previous years. Representatives of Republika Srpska suggested to hold a conference before making final decision. Haris Silajdzic, federal representative, announced his resign in case of unfair decision. That means if RS gets Brcko. It is hard to think of the solution, except the fact that someone will get the town. It is still unknown how and under which conditions.
And resigns and similar promises...Well, we heard that last year and they are all still on their positions (or higher positions).
* Arrests of accused of war criminals continue
To prove their seriousness SFOR soldiers continued arrests. One more of potential war criminals is behind the bars. This time it is Radislav Krstic, general of the RS army. He is in the Hague and he already said he is not guilty. And he is accused of crimes in Srebrenica in 1995. He is accused of extermination, murders, persecution with religious and political base, and of not stopping his soldiers doing the same...And the man said he is not guilty. The court expressed its pleasure because of this arrest, because Krstic is one of the highest ranked officers of RS army. We will see if they will have the same pleasure after few years process when things lose their sense.
* Forces of Croatian police beaten out of bosnian territory
One of decisions on Madrid conference was order for Croatian police to leave territory of Bosnia - city named Martinbrod, where they are for 3 years now. And they didn't. And they are not there anymore, also. Because of fact that Croat president Tudjman didn't like the fact, he didn't give an order them to leave. And Carlos Westendorp didn't like that. So, last Wednesday he ordered SFOR military action, and SFOR "cleaned" bosnian territory. And now, western part of bosnian border is protected by SFOR, and forces of Federal police are in Martinbrod. Well, Tudjman didn't like this. He said that its a kind of attack on integrity of Croatia. Yeah, papa Tudjman, if you didn't saw action take place in Bosnia, not Croatia! And what Croatian police was doing on the territory of other country? Well, he didn't say anything about that. Maybe next time. If there will be next time.
* Attacks on SFOR soldiers in Stolac
Stolac vandals decided to make some changes in their act, to prevent things from becoming monotonous. Instead attacking returnee families, they decided to show they are brave enough to do some other things.
This time they attacked SFOR and International Community. Bravely.
What happened? International policemen and SFOR soldiers were in Stolac police station, controlling things which do no function normally for years. They were also interested in cases of attacked returnees. That was the thing they did not like. And to show that to strangers, they decided to go to police station with sticks and explain some things. Probably it was about communication misunderstanding. After that SFOR soldiers left the town in peace and dignity. And promised to be back. The sticks are waiting. In the meantime, chief of police resigned, to save himself from explanations.
* About bosnian split-up, about Sarajevo`s Haggadah, about human stupidity...
Bosnian nonsense split up is still not finished! This could be the proof.
Few press agencies spread the news about another unbelievable request from bosnian Serbs. Haggadah is famous Jewish book that speaks about their history, till the moment they moved from Egypt. And its one of most beautiful books in the world. So, what happened. These guys asked, or they want to have Haggadah in Banja Luka, every third year, in their museum. Haggadah find its place in Sarajevo, lot of years ago, when Jewish families moved from Spain. So, "as Dayton says" they have right on 1/3 of everything in Bosnia and Herzegovina, even on books. And even if the book will be kept in their museum every third year. Complete nonsense. Its hard to believe that this will really happened. But, in dreamland named Bosnia everything is possible. Who knows.
Clear business - long love, as people would say. Or from Bosnian perspective, let's split up, and than love each other. And read old books, also.