High Representative for BiH Christian Schmidt Speaks on Bosnia’s Fragile State and the Role of OHR

Christian Schmidt, 20 August 2015
Christian Schmidt, 20 August 2015. Photo: José Cruz/Agência Brasil, CC BY 3.0 BR

SARAJEVO – In an interview with regional CNN affiliate N1, Christian Schmidt, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), shed light on the country’s precarious situation and the indispensable role of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) and foreign judges in the Constitutional Court of BiH.

Schmidt emphasized the unresolved issue of state property in BiH, a topic that has remained contentious for 27 years since the Dayton Agreement. He clarified that while state property belongs to the state, discussions are ongoing about its potential use and legal resolutions. On the topic of denationalization and restitution, Schmidt expressed his belief that it’s the Parliament’s responsibility to find solutions, assuring his availability for assistance.

Highlighting the importance of the OHR and foreign judges, Schmidt warned of the potential for conflict and disintegration in BiH if these entities were to depart before the full implementation of the Dayton Agreement.

Addressing the annulment of the NSRS (National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska) law and Republic of Srpska President Dodik’s subsequent decree, Schmidt revealed Dodik’s apprehensions about the state prosecutor’s investigations against him. He emphasized the importance of enforcing rights and ensuring that war criminals are barred from public activities, stating that reconciliation is impossible if such individuals remain in public positions.

In the international arena, Schmidt dismissed the significance of not receiving Russia’s consent for his appointment, emphasizing that it’s Russia’s concern, not a procedural one. He also hinted at commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Memorial Center in Srebrenica with a nod to former US President Clinton, though he doesn’t expect Clinton’s presence in BiH.

Addressing the defamation law in the RS, Schmidt expressed his discontent but assured that the EU would soon intervene.

In a message to the citizens of BiH, Schmidt urged calm and continued criticism of non-performing officials. He reassured that the international community remains committed to BiH and is serious about its plans for the country’s future.

Source: N1 BIH

Image source: Wikimedia Commons – José Cruz / Agência Brasil

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