Sunday, April 29, 2012

In This Week's News

Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH)

The draft of BiH’s budged is likely to fail when it comes to the vote by BiH’s presidency. BiH’s national TV announced that Željko Komšić, the Croatian member of BiH’s rotating presidency, and Bakir Izetbegović, the Bosniak member of BiH’s rotating presidency, will vote against the adoption of the budged. Komšić confirmed this prior to the party’s session last week. Should Komšić insist on his decision, a new political storm will ensue and will lead the termination of compliance with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and president Zlatko Lagumdžija, as reported by BiH’s budged, amounting to KM950 million, was adopted in the Council of Ministers just by Lagumdžija and Damir Hadžić and sparked a storm of disapproval. Particularly sharp were reactions that came from the Democratic Action Party (SDA) while all trade unions are unanimous in their assessment; this budged will break BiH.   

It is worrisome that between 2002 and 2025, the unemployment rate has risen up to 25 percent. In BiH, every seventh citizen is currently unemployed. This was found out by the local agency called ALDI which undertook a study on the reform of social security. The concept of unemployment differs between the agency ALDI and BiH’s statistical office according to which 200,000 people less are thought unemployed. Most affected by unemployment are the young as 25,000 jobs were lost during the financial crisis, all of whom were filled with young people between the ages of 15 – 24. Meanwhile, the largest job growth was recorded in the public sector while Republica Srpska recorded the highest growth.

Turkey has begun to lobby for BiH’s admittance to the NATO alliance. B92 reported that Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu started a diplomatic mission in Brussels for BiH to be included in the action plan for membership (MAP). This was confirmed by Davutoglu’s spokesperson Seldžuk Unal who explained that the initiative was formally addressed to all ministers who attended the ministerial NATO meeting in Brussels. B92 reports that BiH’s future in NATO was the main topic between Davutoglu and Great Britains foreign minister William Haig during the ministerial meeting last Thursday. According to regional news, Davutoglu and his Bulgarian colleague Nikolaj Mladenov jointly prepared a letter in which they seek recognition of BiH in MAP. We wish, so Davotoglu, that BiH feels that the international community cares about this country. We shall not forget that we watched the massacre for three years before we elected to intervene, so that now, we simply cannot turn our backs on BiH”.

While describes BiH as a scary place for tourists, the creators of the video game “Medal of Honor” present BiH as a country of terrorists. As B92 reports, this is one of the most famous games worldwide and its release is planned in the U.S. for late October. The player will visit the most conflict-ridden places to fight terrorists, to kill, and be killed. Other countries that are depicted as terrorist heavens are Somalia, Yemen and the Philippines. Previously, the portal had made a list with the ten most fearful places for tourists, on which BiH is in the second place. Bosnia’s portal reported that tourists still have the pictures of a wrecked BiH in mind where one can feel the ghosts of the past. concludes its report by explaining that BiH’s streets are still scarred from the war adding that, after all, this is were WWI started. The result is an amazing history and great cuisine, one of the best to the east of Italy.

The Russian oil company NeftegazInKor which owns the oil refinery in Brod plans to invest an additional €700 million over the course of the next four years. Đakonov Aleksandar, the director of Optima group that manages the NeftgazInKor in Brod, explained that so far €120 million were invested into the refinery. The planned investment cycle is intended to bring the quality of the refinery to the level of the most advanced refineries of Europe. After the completion of the investment cycle, the refinery will run at a processing capacity of 4.2 million tons of oil, said Đakonov.
BiH’s prosecution office filed an indictment this past week regarding the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo last year. The indictment was not made public yet. However, the prosecution will ask that Jašarević’s prisonterm be 20 years. Večerni List reported that Nusret Imamović, a leading figure of BiH’s Wahhabi movement, inspired Mevlid Jašarević’s rampage. The article claims that Imamović’s lectures and/or sermons encouraged Jašarević’s attack on the embassy. The paper further explained that Imamović’s sermons incited other terrorist acts in BiH over the course of the past two years. As Večerni List reported, Imamović spoke about how “the U.S. and the American Congress defined Muslims not only as military foes, but also as an ideological threat”. Therefore, “Muslims must defeat them ideologically”, the paper reported. Imamović further criticized those who support BiH’s bid for NATO and denounced the interreligious council of BiH and the Islamic Community as being traitors.
The U.S. ministry of justice indicted Mevlid Jašarević with attempted murder and for attacking the U.S. embassy with a machine gun. Reportedly, Jašarević is charged in ten points including, among others, attempted murder of U.S. officers and/or employees, attempted murder within the jurisdiction of the United States and assault with a deadly weapon.

“Pravosudje SAD podiglo optužnicu protiv Jašarević”. Beta Press. Accessed April 25, 2012.
“Mevlidu Jašareviću prijeti zatvor od oko 20 godina”. Vijesti online. Accessed April 23, 2012.
“Imamović uticajni vođa vehabija”. Radio Televizija Vojvodine. Accessed April 23, 2012.          
“Rusi ulažu 700ml evra u Srpsku”. B92. Accessed April 23, 2012.
“BiH u igrici teroristička zemlja”. B92. Accessed April 23, 2012.
“Turska lobira za BiH u NATO”. B92. Accessed April 21, 2012.         
“Svaki sedmi stanovnik BiH nezaposlen”. Al Jazeera Balkans. Accessed April 21, 2012.       
“Željko Komšić neće podržati Nacrt državnog budžeta za 2012”. BiH News. Accessed April 20, 2012.


Three Slovenes, four Serbs and one citizen of BiH were arrested in relation to investigations on drug trafficking. The investigation was concluded last week in Celje, Slovenia, in cooperation with colleagues from Austria and Serbia. The suspects were trading drugs in Western Europe by using transportation company vehicles. One of the suspects was arrested in Austria while carrying 19kg of marijuana, more than 6000 ecstasy pills and 2kg of amphetamine pills. All but the two suspects from Serbia were registered in Celje. The Austrian police meanwhile captured two more of the gang’s members and confiscated 34kg of marijuana in addition to an extra 30kg that were with the other two members. The total value of the drugs lies at €200,000 while street value might be two or three times higher.

“Uhapšeno osam trgovaca drogom iz Slovenije, Srbije, BiH”. Press Online. Accessed April 23, 2012.šeno+osam+trgovaca+drogom+iz+Slovenije,+Srbije,+BiH.html     


Following the killing of five Macedonians, the Bulgarian newspaper Novinite suggested for Macedonia to split so as to ease tensions there. The article propagates the idea that Macedonia ought to split preventively so as to avoid a disaster in the future. The story was picket up the by pro-governmental news agency Večer which noted that the idea emerged from their eastern neighbor ten years after a similar proposal was launched by Macedonia’s former prime minister Ljupčo Georgievskog. The proposal launched the idea of redrawing borders and a population swap, the Albanian population. As the paper reported, the destabilization of Macedonia could result in an international conflict in Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey. Therefore, a long-lasting solution ought to be found that could guarantee lasting stability in Macedonia. To this end, one must consider all options, one of which is the proposed “preventative division” of Macedonia. Why, concludes the article, should Albanians continue to be loyal to the Macedonian state in light of their rapidly growing number, especially after the example of Kosovo’s Albanians who received international recognition of independence only nine years after an armed rebellion?

“Podela Makedonije smiruje region?” Accessed April 23, 2012.


Leader of the coalition Preokret and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Čedomir Jovanović said that all, Serbs, Albanians, Bosniaks, Croatians and Hungarians are equally unhappy due to flawed policies in a rally in Novi Pazar. Politicians must meet existing problems head-on instead of running away from them, explained Jovanović. He explained that he goes into this campaign with the notion of fighting problems. We will, said the LDP’s leader, neither wage war with Tadić and Nikolić nor will we win with Ugljanin, Lljajić or the mufti. Instead, we must agree on the work that has to be done and this work must then become part of our lives. If people need to be reconciled, as Jovanović put it, let us do it before the elections and not afterwards. This way national reconciliation cannot be abused for the sake of forming coalitions.

Presidential candidate Ivica Dačić, leader or the coalition United Pensioners of Serbia (PUPS), Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and United Serbia (JS) stated that his first presidential decree, should he be chosen, would be to petition for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to leave the country and to make sure that Vojvodina will never become a republic. “The arrogance of the IMF is endless”, said Dačić during a rally by Novi Sad’s Freedom Square. Dačić added that the IMF requested of Serbia to tighten its belt further by cutting the salaries of all employees as well as for Serbia to sell all public sector enterprises. He further emphasized that EU membership is not worth Serbia’s national interests adding that if conditions for EU accession means for Serbia to give up her most vital national interests, then Serbia is not interested in joining the EU. Regarding the status of Vojvodina, Dačić said that the region could be autonomous only if this supports Serbia’s unanimity and strength. Vojvodina will never be anti-Serbian and interested in her disunity as some have thought.

In a rally held in Novi Pazar, head of the Democratic Party (DS) and the coalition For a Better Life Boris Tadić emphasized that Serbia is on her way into a better future adding that he will work to affect change for the better in Serbia. He asserted that he will make sure to bring investors to the region who in turn will create jobs. Tadić explained that he will do anything to assure that all peoples, cultures and languages get the place they deserve adding that Serbia will be a country of peace for all her people. Tadić assured that there will be no repetition of what has happened in the past.

“Tadić dovodi investore u Novi Pazar”. Kurir. Accessed April 28, 2012.      
“Vojvodina nikada neće postati republika”. Nezavisne Novine. Accessed April 28, 2012.
“LDP: Svi su jednako nesrećni”. RTS. Accessed April 22, 2012.ćni+.html

Montenegro and BiH

Chairman of the council of ministers Vjekoslav Bevanda and minister of foreign affairs and EU integration Milan Roćen announced in Sarajevo that a border agreement between BiH and Montenegro is planned durign Bevanda’s upcoming visit to Montenegro. The date has not been publicized yet. Bevanda and Roćen pointed toward the significance of the Adriatic-Ionian highway and railway line between Čapljin and Nikšić emphasizing that this is a priority project for BiH and Montenegro. BiH and Montenegro wish to attract foreign investments for these infrastructural projects in a joint approach.

“BIH i Crna Gora: Uskoro sporazum o međudržavnoj granici”. Radio Slobodna Evropa. Accessed April 24, 2012.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
German and Bosnia-Herzegovinian security services cooperate closely on the potential threat of poisoned water and food in Germany as was announced in a video message by Mevlid Jašarević prior to his shooting rampage at the embassy in Sarajevo. The German embassy in Sarajevo confirmed that the two states are exchanging information regarding the potential threat stemming from radical Islamists that are currently in custody, awaiting charges. The German embassy confirmed to news outlet Dnevni Avaz that cooperation revolves around these cases. In the seven-minute long video message, Jašarević stated attacks on Germany are due to their involvement in the war in Afghanistan in addition to having claimed that Muslims in Bosnia and surrounding regions plan a new “massacre”. Jašarević reportedly said that “America has its allies, one of which is Germany. Germany openly attacked Afghanistan and I declare war on Afghanistan. It is not a new war, but instead a new kind of war”, adding that food and water will be contaminated. The video was recorded shortly before the attack on the U.S. embassy and found in Gornja Maoča, a place inhabited by followers of the Wahhabi movement.
President of the Democratic People’s Union (DNS) Marko Pavić stated that Republica Srpska (RS) and thus BiH cannot join NATO as long as Serbia too is not part of this alliance. Pavić added that only after that decision and the referendum in RS can a decision regarding NATO membership be made. If BiH were to enter a partnership with NATO without Serbia’s joining, so Pavić, we would create an artificial border on the Drina and we do not want to, nor should we create such a border. Therefore, only after Serbia’a accession and the referendum that must be passed by RS’s citizens will BiH be able to join NATO.

The battle against corruption will be the greatest determining factor regarding BiH’s EU accession, as Stefan File, the EU’s commissioner on the Unions enlargement noted. BiH, so File, is in a relatively early stage regarding the battle against corruption, as this phenomenon is prevalent in many areas and a serious problem in private and public sectors. Regarding a potential date for BiH’s accession, File stated that it was too early to talk about accession dates yet. File also reminded that BiH ought to implement all necessary steps regarding food regulation and safety for all agricultural products and other food exports in general. The EU commissioner also reminded that the upcoming donors conference on refugees ought to be viewed from a regional perspective. In other words, it is necessary to find sustainable solutions for refugees and displaced persons that are most in need. The solution should be based on two principles; voluntary repatriation and local integration. However, final decision lie with the refugees, said File. The program, reminded File, is tied to refugees, and not the state. Based on data released by the United Nations High Chair for Refugees (UNHR) and according to surveys conducted by international organizations for migration, the most vulnerable refugees are actually located in Serbia and Serbia is slated to receive €335 million, BiH will receive €120 million.   

“File: Korupcija ključna za BiH”. B92. accessed April 20, 2012.   
“Bosna može u NATO kad u njega uđe i Srbija”. Vesti Online. accessed April 22, 12.
“Njemačka I BiH Istražuju Jašarevićeve Prijetnje”. Atlantska Inicijativa. accessed April 20, 12.   

A group of citizens submitted the presidential candidacy of mufti Muamer Zukorlić to the republic’s electoral commission. More then 12,000 citizens supported Zukorlić’s candidacy. Chief of Staff for Zukorlić’s election Ferhatović Jahja explained that he expected Zukorlić to be victorious on May 6th adding that Zukorlić will bring about the revival of Serbia’s state and society. Among those who supported the mufti’s candidacy are people that currently reside in Vienna as well as a lot of Serbs, so Ferhatović. Ferhatović explained that the process of garnering signatures for Zukorlić was obstructed by the legislature and the ruling coalitions, the DS, as Boris Tadić and Rasim Ljajić sought to prevent the mufti from garnering enough signatures to be deemed eligible for the presidential race.

The three minister’s of interior affairs from BiH, Montenegro and Serbia, Sadik Ahmetović, Ivan Brajović and Ivica Dačić met in Zlatibor, Serbia, to discuss increased cooperation on terrorism, organized crime, border security, and exchange of information regarding EU integration. The organized crime, said Dačić, does not know borders adding that police cooperation in that field is imperative. In fact, explained Serbia’s minister Dačić, cooperation among the ministries for the interior is very high, if not higher than political cooperation. The EU, according to Dačić, has increased pressure for the regions to also increase cooperation on their borders while the minister perceives the security of the citizenry as more important. Ahmetović added that BiH is working on a document by which the question of terrorism will be central so as to resolve said phenomenon.        
“Dačić: Kriminal ne poznaje granice”. B92. accessed April 22, 12.
“Predata kandidatura Zukorlića”. Radio-televizija Srbije. accessed April 14, 2012.ća.html     

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Belgrade based mufti Muhamed Jusufspahić expressed skepticism regarding Sandžak based mufti Zukorlić’s announcement that he will run for president of Serbia come May 6th. Jusufspahić asked if it was normal for someone who before called on civil disobedience now runs for president. On the other hand, Jusufspahić explained that Zukorlić’s running for Serbia’s presidency shows that Serbia is a free country. Jusufspahić added that Serb and Muslim residents of Serbia share the same problems and joys, regardless what faith or ethnicity they belong to. Muslims, says Jusufspahić, get all the rights Serbians get adding that no one cane take those rights away, except they themselves.

In related news, president of the Assembly of the Islamic Community of Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH) Safet Softić explained that there exists a decision regarding the noninvolvement of religious authorities may not promote political parties or in any way participate in elections. Softić recalled that a case in which a mufti was dismissed for involvement in politics adding that technically, the Islamic Community of Sandžak belongs to BiH. Zukorlić, so Softić, is thus under the jurisdiction of BiH’s Islamic Community.

According to the agency Factor Plus, Tomislav Nikolić, leader of the Serbia’s Progressive Party (SNS) leads the polls with 35.8 percent. Current president Boris Tadić came in close second in the polls with 35.7 percent. The research survey that filled out by 1160 adults between April 2nd and 8th showed that Ivica Daćić, leader of Serbia’s Socialist Party (SPS) came in 11.2 percent; Čedomir Jovanović, leader of the movement Preokret and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), came in fourth with 5.6 percent; Vojislav Koštunica, leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) came in with 5 percent; and Zoran Stanković, leader of the United Regions of Serbia (URS) came in with one percent. A spokesperson at Factor Plus explained that the research did not include Muamer Zukorlić and Jadranka Šešelj as both announced their bid for presidency too late. Regarding the parliamentary elections, SNS would receive 33.4 percent while DS were to came in second with 29.4 percent. In third place came the coalition of the Socialist Party of Serbia, United Pensioners of Serbia and United Serbia with 11. 6 percent. Preokret too made it above the five percent benchmark with 6.3 percent, as did the SRS with 5.7 percent and the DSS with 5.5 percent. According to the research, 51 percent confirmed their intention to vote while 41 percent said they knew for whom to vote on election day. 60 percent of Serbia’s rural and urban population expressed their doubt whether or not anything will change after election day and nearly 70 percent consider the party for which they will vote untrustworthy.

“Faktor Plus: Tadić i Nikolić skoro izjednačeni”. Polika. Accessed April 9, 2012.

“Jusufspahić: Srbija slobodna zemlja”. B92. Accessed April 9, 2012.

Bosnia i Herzegovinan (BiH)

During the past weeks in BiH, dissatisfaction has grown louder which has experts wondering if BiH is ready for a large-scale revolt that could grow into an avalanche of social discontent. The number of workers and pensioners on the street is growing, unemployment has long surpassed half a million and BiH’s credit rating is nearly as low as Greece’s. Former members of the armed forces are protesting in front of Sarajevo’s institutions, and operating firms all across the country work barely at a minimum. Agricultural workers too announced their intent to demonstrate. Is the time ripe for a Balkan Spring as citizens no longer have anything to lose? Meanwhile, are large scale demonstrations even feasible in a country in which trade unions have a less than doubtful partnership with the government? Professor Ivan Šajković explains that citizens of BiH no longer have faith in their unions. Sociology professor Srđan Puhalo added that in Bih, citizens no longer now what it means to lead a normal life, what it means to live off of ones work. The only question is how far down we can go, said Puhalo, adding that he believes citizens of BiH reached the bottom from which one cannot fall any further. Professor of philosophy Enver Kazaz, however, does not believe there will be large civic disobedience. Should it happen nonetheless, Kazaz adds, the rebellion will be chaotic. The unions should then the be held accountable. Yet, what if, hypothetically, large scale rebellions transpire and topple the current government? What could replace the current chaotic situation of BiH too is a question asked by professor Šijaković. Meritocracy, he explained, would have to be prevalent method of selecting people for leadership positions.

According to independent news outlets, new Wahhabi basis are allegedly forming in the village of Ovše by Maglaja. Initial information about the suspected training center surfaced one and a half years ago while journalists acquired images with which to proof the existence. The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) stated it has information according to which followers of the Wahhabi movement settled in Ovše. Individuals were found cleaning debris and weeds around their acquired property and property intended for purchase. The operation is said to have been organized by Izet Hadžić who is supposedly a fevoted follower of Nusret Imamović. To prevent further media exposure of “their Vienna Headquarters”, Hadžić is said to have been directed to Luxembourg which known for its numerous followers of the Wahhabi movement.

“Otkrivena nova baza vehabija kod Maglaja”. Mondo. Accessed April 10, 2012.

“Balkansko proleće sad ili nikad.” DW.DE. accessed April 9, 2012.,,15867176,00.html

Sunday, April 8, 2012


During his trip through Sjenica, Novi Varoš and Prijepolje, leader of Serbia’s Progressive Party (SNS) Tomislav Nikolić announced that he wishes for Serbia to join the EU adding that, however, there might be some difficulty should the Union demand too much from Serbia. Nikolić explained that Serbia should seek out friends anywhere so as to avoid that Serbia be influenced by one-sided ideas. Nikolić stated that much effort must be devoted to said area because many people are unemployed and thus are prone to leave the villages. The government, said Nikolić, must render life in Serbia’s villages reasonable and acceptable adding that life in the villages is in fact better than struggling in the city adding that, however, it is obvious that state services are lacking in this area (Southern Serbia). The next government, explained Nikolić, will have to restore agricultural production because it presents the easiest and fastest way of restoring previous investments.

Mufti Muamer Zukorlić has announced that he will run for president in the upcoming presidential elections. Zukorlić explained that Serbia is on the brink of collapse adding that he could present a genuine rescue program that will be acceptable to all citizens of Serbia. Presidential elections will be held on the 6th of May together with the parliamentary, provincial and local elections. Zukorlić expects to secure a serious number of votes adding that he will not disappoint those that voted for him. Mufti Zukorlić intends to give up his leading function in the religious community “when he wins the presidential election”. Thus far, contenders for Serbia’s presidential election were Ivica Dačić from Serbia’s Socialist Party, Boris Tadić from the Democratic Party and Tomislav Nikolić from Serbia’s Progressive Party, Čedomir Jovanović from the Liberal-Democratic Party, Vojislav Koštunica from the Democratic Party of Serbia, the candidate from the United Regions of Serbia party Zoran Stanković, the leader of the Vojvodinian Hungarian Alliance Istvan Pastor, leader of the Dveri Movement Vladan Glisić and Jadranka Šešelj, the spouse of Vojislav Šešelj will go in with Serbia’s Radical Party.

“I Muftija Zukorlić se kandiduje za predsednika Srbije”. Press Online. Accessed April 7, 2012.ć+se+kandiduje+za+predsednika+Srbije.html

“Nikolić: EU ako ne traže previse”. B92. Accessed April 1, 2012.


The city administration of Novi Pazar and the German organization Help signed a contract that will finance small business projects. The value of the project is €135,000. The local government will provide €48,000, the rest will be provided by foreign donors. Jelena Jelenković who is part of the organization in Kraljevo explained that beneficiaries for this project will receave €2,500 with which they can buy equipment and supplies, as well as conduct professional training for small businesses. Help has provided €1.75 to support small business in 15 municipalities of Serbia. The German donor organization has been present in Serbia for the past 12 years during which it has helped launch four thousand business ideas. In Novi Pazar, the organization has supported 80 such projects. The last project was carried out last year during which 32 farmers received €1,500 for greenhouses and other equipment.

Members of the police department in Prijepolje found nine illegal immigrants from Algeria and referred them to the office for asylum in Belgrade. The Algerian nationals entered Serbia illegally without possession of any valid documentation. The government has now appealed to its citizens to take note of people who’s appearance and behavior suggests that they are foreigners. This appeal is justified on the basis of the recent phenomenon by which many illegal foreigners entered Serbia frequently.

The association of public prosecutors and their deputies implemented a judicial project in southern Serbia to address the fight against inefficiency and discrimination. The project is aimed at reducing discrimination on the ground of ethnic and religious differences and will present the basis for a national model of judicial protection for victims of discrimination. Focus groups have been created so as to learn about discrimination and the results have shown that in Novi Pazar, people with disabilities and Roma most often experienced discrimination. The most common form of discrimination is found in the employment sector. Research also showed that there is no real distinction when it comes to intolerance related to race and religion.

“Krivično delo koje se još uvek nedovoljno poznaje”. Dnevni list Danas. accessed April 6, 2012.

“Prijepolje: Otkriveno 9 ilegalaca”. B92. Accessed April 5, 2012.

“Za mali biznis 135.000 evra”. Dnevni list Danas. accessed April 5, 2012.

Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH)

According to a document published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, BIH will disintegrate come 2025. People that now live in the territories of BiH will peacefully part ways with the help of the European Union, so the Foundation. Between 2013 and 2020, so the foundation, BiH’s neighbors will join the EU while BiH will remain isolated due to its unresolved national question. By 2025, the international and BiH’s community will realize that peaceful separation is the only solution as most politicians and citizens of BiH encounter increasing frustration over the continuous failing process to unite the country. Under this scenario, the dissolution is expected to come by way of consensus between the EU, U.S., Russia and Turkey, and consent by the constituent peoples of BiH in 2022 at which point the Dayton 2 conference is to be held. There are four other possible scenarios proposed by the publication; by 2025, the status of BiH will remain unchanged but will be part of the EU; BiH will be a decentralized and functional state; BiH regions will integrate with neighboring states and fourth, BiH will become a functional and integrated state after violent conflict and NATO intervention. However, Paul Pasch who serves as the Foundations director, explained that these scenarios serve as intellectual exercises and are meant to encourage BiH policy makers to undertake reforms regarding their political strategies. Tanja Topić who heads the Friedrich Ebert Fondation in Banja Luka explained that the foundation sought to encourage and open up debate on BiH by way of this provoking document. The document was not created maliciously but instead meant to shake up BiH politicians to improve internal relations.

April fifth marked the 2oth anniversary when two women were killed by Serbian snipers at the peace rally in Sarajevo, marking the beginning of BiH’s war. The 1990’s war in BiH now also serves instructive purposes as we whiteness many characteristics that resemble current occurrences in Syria. Similarities lie in the terrible barbarity, sectarian slaughter, mass movements of people, religions, sects, tribes and clans. Once again we are faced with warnings related to topography, this time coming from Syria’s deserts, mountains and cities; and once again we hear that arming the Syrian opposition could worsen the killing. All those arguments were brought forward during the war in BiH. Robert Kaplan’s Balkan Ghosts – read by former president Bill Clinton - so Radio Slobodna Evropa, laid bare – layer by layer – the intricacies of ethnicity and religion found on the Balkan Peninsula and described a whirl of harmonious intolerance among Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Islam and Judaism. Kaplan portrayed the Balkans as a mysterious, exotic place of blood feuds and incomprehensible politics and sent a clear message – not to enter the Balkans. Clinton followed this advice and did not enter Bosnia until it became necessary upon which NATO ended the killing. Today, the Friends of Syria are slowly coming to the conclusion that something else must be done. A coalition was to be assembled, but this effort failed due to Russian and Chinese opposition. A new attempt is now brought forward, the killings could be ended by means of communication…Many of the same methods were applied in BiH, lots of promises that do little to end the conflict. The Syrian uprising is now a full-fledged civil war. More than 9,000 people have perished, mostly civilians. For Syria’s president Bašar al Assad, there is no coming back. He will never consent to any plan according to which he will have to give up power, as this would indicate the end of him. The stakes get higher and higher, the death toll rises. In the meantime, the Friends of Syria are upset. During the meeting in Istanbul last Sunday, U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton stated that Assad ought to be judged on the basis of his actions, and not on the basis of his promises regarding what he will do. Exactly; what Assad does is killing his fellow citizens: Syrians. What others are doing: NOTHING. Hillery Clinton is the last person in the world that has to remind us about the lessons of BiH. She was in the White House when her husband was “converted”, and approved to the airstrikes that finally ended the war. How is it possible that she is listening to the same arguments on why not to arm the Syrian opposition, and against the bombardment of Bašar’s military. She listens to the same experts that warn her about Shiites, Sunnis and Alavites and how nobody really knows who leads the opposition. There surely is confusion, though there is always confusion. It is the United States that ought to bring back order. It is an art form as to how to address these issues; yet, the U.S. sate department knows how to do it. BiH showed that even in war there exists progress. Syria’s war will become much worse. Many more people will be killed, and then the U.S. will have to show Turkey and Saudi Arabia how to clean up the mess. The bridge on which the two women were killed will surely serve as the place where the 20th commemoration of BiH’s war will be held. The Friends of Syria should attend this event. They would learn a lot there.

“Bosanski rat nudi lekcije za sirijiski sukob”. Slovodna Evropa. accessed April 3, 2012.

“Bosna se raspada do 2025”. Brč accessed April 3, 12.