Bosnia and Herzegovina. Twenty years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement

DaytonAfter the peace Accord was signed in November 1995 at the US military base in Dayton – Ohio, it was finally signed in Paris 20 years ago, so Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended the war in our country. On one hand, the peace agreement prevented further killing of people, abuse and torture, but, on the other hand, in times of peace the majority of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina lives turned into a living hell.

In practice, the consequences of the Peace Agreement are more than obvious. Complicated and inefficient state, which is by the Dayton Peace Accords divided into two entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, again, consists of 10 cantons, and the Republic of Serbian people – has created a system whereby only ethnic nationalists benefit, who nevertheless were the main causes of the war in Bosnia. To be more honest and correct, the Bosniak, Serbian and Croatian national political oligarchy was created, that uses the national political parties to manage all political, social and economic processes in the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the sole beginning and nothing changed so far.

Dysfunction of the system, the human rights abuse, opposite to many international legal norms, are some of the characteristics of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina created that was founded upon a peace agreement.
Ethnic nationalists have succeeded in dividing the country for the past twenty years. They managed to build their own private-states on territories where their ethnicity is a majority, over the sovereign rule of the state. Today, twenty years after the signing of the Dayton Agreement, the same rules do not apply to all citizens. Ethnic leaders are above the law, even the Constitution and they openly deny the state institutions, primarily the B&H Prosecutor’s Office, the Court of B&H and the State Investigation and Protection Agency.

The reform processes are being blocked, the country is lagging behind on the way of integration into NATO and the European Union, there are ethnic tensions raising daily that impede the process of reconciliation of citizens. All blockades arise for one reason, and it is to prevent the functioning of the rule of law, because otherwise many leaders of this country shall end up in jail for corruption and crime offenses.

The social consequences of their actions are visible at every step. Bosnia and Herzegovina is today the state whose 50% of the population lives in poverty, 46% are unemployed, and every sixth person is malnourished, hungry to be more honest. According to studies of international organizations, more than 90% of young people want to leave the country, because authorities do not offer any perspective, any hope of a better life, not now nor in the future.

Corruption moves about 700 million euros annually into private pockets, what is for a country with an annual budget of some EUR 7 billion a tremendous amount of money. Media is almost daily reporting on the corruption scandals of high-ranking officials. However, the intervention of government institutions Is lacking regularly, and the reason is that, although the law defined them as independent institutions, law enforcement institutions such as prosecutor’s office and the police, are undoubtedly under the absolute control of the rationalist’s parties.

The economic consequences of all that is primarily looting in the privatization, hundreds of thousands of people left on the street without jobs, and many of those who work struggle without paycheck, nor are they paid the health and pension obligatory benefits.
The result of all this is the growing apathy and a feeling of helplessness and lack of prospects for most citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ervin Turbić – President of JUSTICIA NGO

TheItalian verison of the article Bosnia-Herzegovina. Vent’anni dopo Dayton is available