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Who and why wants to destroy the fragile peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bakir Izetbegovic. Photo: turkiyegazetesi.com.tr

Today, the leaders of the community of Muslim Bosniaks - whom the western mass media have traditionally referred to as “victims of the Serbian genocide” - are acting like they did in the early 1990s: no sooner had the Kosovan “special services” detected a “network of Russian spies” and formed their own army and hardly had the Montenegrins uncover “Russian conspiracy” than the Bosniaks decided to ask the Hague Tribunal once again to recognize Serbia as responsible for their “genocide” in the civil war of the 1990s and adduced some new proofs of that.

Junior no better than senior

The first time they appealed to the Tribunal was 2007 but then the Europeans decided that they had punished the Serbians enough for their wish to save Yugoslavia and not to be annihilated by Bosnian, Croatian and Albanian separatists.

And now, ten years afterwards, Bakir Izetbegovic, the son of the leader of the Bosnian separatists of the 1990s Alija Izetbegovic, appeared with a new appeal like a jack in the box. In 1992, Alija Izetbegovic followed the advice of his “American partners” and disowned his signature under Jose Cutileiro’s peace plan. By doing that, he prevented Bosnia and Herzegovina from becoming the Balkan analogue of Switzerland and gave rise to a war that claimed over 100,000 lives. Earlier, Alija Izetbegovic recruited Bosniaks into the Handschar SS Division and spent years in jail for his extremist Islamic Declaration. In the 1990s, he called for an anti-Serbian Jihad and in 1994, he met in Sarajevo with Usama bin Laden, who then was the partner of the “civilized world” and a hero of the anti-Soviet Afghani war.

Izetbegovic Junior is no better than his father. Over the last years, his Sarajevo-based company has sold land plots and houses to over 40,000 Arabs while his men have been urging young Bosniak girls to marry those “true Muslims.” He did not care that some of those newcomers were Wahhabis. Even more, his City Development Institute took money from the Saudis to build the Balkans’ Wahhabi center, the King Fadh Mosque and since then enjoys the friendship and support of its Imam, a former commander of the Bosnian separatist army Nezim Muderris Halilovic. Halilovic was one of the first to support Izetbegovic’s new initiative – to send a new “genocide” claim.

Ruined reconciliation

Izetbegovic Junior appeared with the initiative at the last conference of the Party of Democratic Action, one more political project of his father. Bakir is its informal leader as he is holding a post requiring him to be non-partisan. He did that just a few days before the planned visit of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic to Sarajevo – the first visit of a Serbian leader to Bosnia and Herzegovina since the civil war in Yugoslavia. When asked if his initiative could prevent the historic visit, Izetbegovic said that he was not going to retreat and that it was for Nikolic to decide to visit Sarajevo or not.

He got what he wanted: Nikolic cancelled his visit. He said that he saw no sense in going to a place where nobody was glad to see him and promised to do his best to have Izetbegovic’s appeal declined. Shortly after that, the representative of the Serbian community to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Ivanic convoked a special meeting but Izetbegovic refused to listen to his arguments and walked out of the hall. As a result, he filed the appeal despite the protests of the Serbian community and the refusal of the leader of the Croatian community Dragan Covic to support it.

A stumbling holiday

And now hardly anybody will be able to stop the new conflict. President of Republika Srpska (the Serbian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Milorad Dodik said that Baki Izetbegovic had no power to file such an appeal. “He rules just five cantons of Bosnia and Herzegovina but the people living there are acting as if they are the only rulers of the country,” he said.

He added that the Sarajevo prosecutor’s office was going to sue him and Ivanic for celebrating the Day of Republika Sprska on Jan 9, on the day it was proclaimed in 1992.

The Bosniaks tried to bad the holiday but Dodik organized a referendum in Republika Srpska, where most of the Bosnian Serbs voted in support of the holiday. Suddenly, Serbia that previously showed no sympathy for the republic at the official level expressed its support by sending its president to the capital of Republika Srpska, Banja Luka.

A sermon of hatred

The Sarajevo Bosnians counteracted with political repressions. “Those believing that for the sake of love and good neighborhood we should not seek punishment for the criminals who massacred our people will find no peace in faith and life,” Imam Halilovic said in one of his last messages.

In 2015, he cursed those who voted against the UN resolution on “Srebrenica genocide.” Were it not for Russia’s veto, Serbia would have lost any influence in the Balkans and the Bosnians would have free hands to eliminate Republika Srpska as a “state formed as a result of a genocide.” This is exactly what Halilovic was calling for on the Internet in 2009.

But was Izetbegovic’s appeal just a response to the Bosnian Serbs’ wish to celebrate their holiday? We don’t think so. It seems that the West is trying to use its puppet regimes in Sarajevo, Pristina and Podgorica to show the Russians and their allies, the Serbs, who is the real boss in the Balkans.

The moment the Bosnian Serbs realized that Izetbegovic was not going to listen to them, they met with Russia’s Ambassador Pyotr Ivantsov, who convoked a meeting of the ambassadors of the Peace Implementation Council – an authority once formed by the West for keeping peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ambassadors were unanimous – to recommend the Bosnian Muslims to refrain from one-sided decisions and actions that could impeded compromise and dialogue.

Today, unlike in the 1990s, the Russians are able to do such a thing. Now it remains to be seen how the Hague Tribunal will react to the new “genocide” claim and if the “genocide victims” will agree to calm down now that almost 100 of Bosnian fighters have come back to Sarajevo from Syria and, together with 3,400 more comrades, are ready to start anti-Serbian Jihad at home.

Alexey Toporov, specially for EADaily

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