Bosnian War Dayton Agreement

[276] 15 Serbs and 2 Bosniaks. This is the result of an agreement reached in June between Minister Barisic and UNIBH. Barisic was a month behind schedule with these first hires and is required to hire 33 additional Serbs and 4 “others” by the end of 1999. The agreement stipulates that the number of police officers in Republika Srpska must not exceed a maximum of 8,500, and the ethnic composition “must reflect a balanced representation of the three constituent and other peoples” based on the results of the 1997 municipal elections. According to the agreement, by the end of 2000, 25% of all new recruits from the RSRS police (21% in Bosniaks, 3% in Croatian) are expected to be minorities. The agreement also enshrined the right of 1991 RS citizens to apply as police officers, required that all RS police officers be trained and certified by the GIP[265] and reaffirmed the commitment of the Ministry of the Interior of the RS (RSMUP) to keep the police free from political influence. As of the spring of this year, according to GIP information, RSMUP had 8,391 fewer police officers than the maximum number of 8,500 agreed in the December framework agreement. Reluctance and inability to recruit minority police officers appear to be the main cause of the lack of official figures. [267] The agreement was intended to end the de facto division of the country.

To do so, it has created a single federal state in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not only to ensure an end to violence, but also to protect human rights and cooperation. But ethnic divisions and fragmentation have prevented these goals. Two decades later, Bosnian Serb leaders are seen as undermining Bosnia`s legitimacy on every street corner and continue to push for partition. Today, some international media use the Dayton Accords as synonyms for inertia, neglect and despair. For these reasons, most experts expect Bosnians to now oppose the agreement. While the overall goal of the agreements was to bring peace to the region, the agreement – signed by US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister John Major, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, French President Jacques Chirac and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin – also laid the foundations for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina to end the country`s de facto division. A demonstration against the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement in Zagreb. Picture: EPA/ANJA NIEDRINGHAUS.

The agreement was a compromise between the aspirations of the various parties to the war. Against the will of the Serbian and Croatian ultranationalists, it re-established Bosnia as a unitary state and granted the right of return to the victims of ethnic cleansing. Against the will of Bosnian ultranationalists, it adopted federal ethnic structures in which the Republika Srpska (“Serb Republic”) was recognized as a political entity with rights of self-management within Bosnia. In addition, a complex system of power-sharing and minority rights has been established for the country`s three major ethnic groups (“constituent peoples”), thus preventing the Bosnian majority from seeing minorities of vital political importance on their issues. Moreover, the Bosnian Muslim community is polarized on whether Dayton`s broader compromise was and remains a good thing.

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