Serbs in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity are “waging a difficult political struggle” for their rights in Bosnia, the Chairman of BiH’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said during an event to honour the victims of the WWII Jasenovac concentration camp on Saturday, arguing that the entity separation line in the country should be strengthened.
“We Serbs in the Republika Srpska are waging a difficult political struggle for our right secured by an international agreement, which again the international community has persistently violated,” Dodik said.
He complained about the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia which is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.
“Why do we need a High Representative 25 years after of war. For what reason? We want to cooperate, but do not expect us to be obedient. We want to have our state regardless of whether you like it or not. Republika Srpska is for us and we live in that country,” said Dodik, who has for years been advocating for the RS to secede from Bosnia.
He added that Serbs in RS “at the same time don’t believe in Bosnia and Herzegovina because it does not provide any framework for security.”
“Why is that so difficult, why can I not have such an opinion? Why would someone say that I should be punished, removed because of that,” he asked.
“Punish me, remove me, you have the power to do so but you will not stop me from talking about the ways I believe that we can live here together, Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats,” he said.
Dodik said he does not blame any Bosniak or Croat who did not commit grave atrocities.
“I don’t hate anyone, but what I have is a strong emotion to love, I love my people, Republika Srpska and Serbia. Do not touch Republika Srpska. Today, Serbs and Serbia are a guarantee of peace in the Balkans. Serbia has been rehabilitated and strengthened,” he said.
“Don’t present us with double standards. We have our entity border, it just needs to be strengthened and we will work on that,” he said.