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November 09, 2007

A region still at risk
Posted by Max Bergmann

The Financial Times has a troubling piece today about rising nationalism in Bosnia. One official commented that, “This has been the most disappointing year post-Dayton" - referring to the 1995 peace agreement that created a decentralized and power sharing government between Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims. The peace agreement has to this point been widely viewed as a success. But a possible flash-point could occur if Kosovo declares its independence.

Among the greatest risks is that Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority will declare unilateral independence next month from Serbia, prompting Bosnian Serbs to hold a referendum on independence for their half of Bosnia, known as the Serb Republic.

Such a referendum would put the Dayton agreement, and Bosnia itself, at great risk. One side effect of Turkey's application to join the EU is that it has overshadowed the more urgent cases of Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Albania. Now with Russia playing a more assertive and disruptive role internationally, there is a real danger that this region could start sliding backward.


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If they don't all want to be in one country together, why on Earth would we make them be in one country together? Just let them all be independent.

Hello from Sarajevo!

As an international working in BiH, I find that my fellow internationals are far more worried than my Bosnian colleagues. This has been the worst year post-Dayton, but the threat now appears to that of a complete collapse of the state, rather than any kind of organized violence.

In response to Mik M. above: Why would you want to lend more permanence and legitimacy to the results of the ethnic cleansing that was carried out in the 1990s? You obviously don't have much understanding of this matter.

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