Last Monday, German diplomat Christian Schmidt took office as the new UN envoy in Bosnia, but was met with fierce opposition from the Serbian population. The Serb’s rejection of Schmidt’s appointment is mainly due to his predecessor’s ban against the Serb’s glorification of war heroes who were responsible for the 1995 mass killing of 8,000 Bosniak’s.
Valentin Inzko, an Austrian diplomat whom Schmidt replaced, had earlier this month, imposed a ban on the denial of the genocide committed by Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladi, who were both convicted as war criminals. Inzko’s ban came as a result of the Srebrenica genocide denial movements, as Bosnian Serbs have been seeking to minimize the impact of the 1995 massacre.
The Root of the Political Tension in Bosnia
The Bosnian Serb’s represent the population that rebelled against Bosnia’s secession from Yugoslavia. While they were able to take control of large swaths of Bosnian territory and create their own self-styled state, the Bosnian Serb political leaders made it their mission to expel Bosniaks and Croats from the territory. The genocide took place in Srebrenica in July 1985 after Bosnian Serbs took control of the eastern territory.
Bosniak men and boys were executed while their remains were dumped in mass graves. However, after the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court of the Former Yugoslavia declared the Srebrenica massacre a genocide and convicted the Serb political leaders as war criminals, the bodies were later dug up and reburied to cover the crime and minimize the impact. To date, the victims of the mass killing are still being unearthed in order to be identified.
About the The Office of High Representative Established by UN After 1992-1995 Bosnia Secession
To oversee peace implementation, as well as promote reconciliation and development, the UN with the support of the United States and European Union, established the Office of High Representative (OHR).
However, conflict is still ongoing as the Bosnian Serbs are calling for the dismantling of the OHR, a move that has gained the support of Serb’s known allies, Russia and China. These two countries have since been looking to increase their influence in the Balkan region, which they are developing by supporting the Bosnian Serbs.
As a matter of fact, Serb nationalists have established their own identity as the Republika Srpska, as part of their campaign to separate from Bosnia. Current Serb political leader Milorad Dodik, leads in the rejection of Schmidt, calling his OHR appointment “illegal” while vowing to launch boycott movements against Schmidt’s future moves.