Holding a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin, thousands of Serbs today protested on the ethnic line between the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to convey a message of separation between these two ethnicities.
This protest led to the blockade of four main roads in the north and south of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The protest was to protect the U.S.-sanctioned Milorad Dodik and the director of the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, Milos Lukic.
The protesters objected to the charges filed on August 11 by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina against Dodik and Lukic for failure to implement the decisions of the high international representative Christian Schmidt.
Media in Bosnia published videos of the protests.
Protesters appeared holding a large Putin banner and singing the Republika Srpska anthem.
“Road blocked on the entity line between the RS and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. Serbs who blocked the road hold pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Traffic is blocked in several places in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Entity line. The blockade was organized as a sign of support for Milorad Dodik, who was charged with contempt of decisions. With the singing of the RS national anthem, the Serbian protests officially began on the Entity Line in Sarajevo,” wrote Istraga.ba.
About 2,000 people participated in the protests and blocked the main roads to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dodik was not the only nationalist praised by the assembled Serbs. Protesters were also heard calling for Ratko Mladic, who was convicted of genocide and war crimes by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the former Yugoslavia.
The Sept. 1 protests in support of Dodik – who is on the U.S. blacklist – drew reactions from international officials.
The High Representative in Bosnia, Christian Schmidt, called the protests manipulation of citizens.
“It is irresponsible to organize political events that create divisions on the dividing line between entities,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt’s office also said that this “border between entities” is not a “border” between Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but only an administrative line.
The protest was held under the slogan “The border exists,” although there are no real borders between the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which the country’s constitution and the peace agreement reached in Dayton call the “demarcation line between the entities” in 1995.
Both the U.S. and the EU are concerned about the unilateral actions of the nationalist Dodik and fear that this could lead to the collapse of peace in the entire region.
Of course, these actions by Dodik have been condemned by the West, but they have found support in Serbia and Russia. A few weeks ago, Dodik hosted Serbian President Vučić and Porfirije in Republika Srpska.
On August 11, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed charges against the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, and the director of the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, Milos Lukic, who are accused of the criminal offense of not implementing the decisions of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt. /Geopost/