Bosnian Croat politician: We should terminate DPA and reestablish Herzeg-Bosnia

NEWS 20.09.202219:47 0 komentara

The leader of the Croatian Peasant Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HSS), Mario Karamatic, told N1 that he believes that a third entity, resembling the wartime Herzeg-Bosnia (HB), should be established within the country for Bosnian Croats and that this could be achieved by “terminating” the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.

Karamatic’s HSS is one of the parties within the Croat National Assembly (HNS), the umbrella organization of Bosnian Croat parties in the country.

The 1992-1995 war left Bosnia and Herzegovina divided into two semi-autonomous entities, the Bosnian Serb-dominated Republika (RS) Srpska and the Federation (FBiH), shared mainly between Bosniaks and Croats. Since the signing of the 1995 peace agreement, however, hardline Bosnian Croat officials have been seeking to have their own entity like the one the Serbs have.

Some, like Karamatic, have been advocating for the recreation of the wartime Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (HB), the parastate they had during the war.

Herzeg-Bosnia seized to exist with the signing of the Washington agreement in 1994, which ended the war between the Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats.

Because of the war crimes committed during the establishment of the pure Croat territory of HB, the UN war crimes tribunal in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled that the project was a “joint criminal enterprise,” in which neighbouring Croatia has taken part with the goal of annexing the territory.

Karamatic argued that the Americans “deceived” the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Dayton Agreement.

“At the end of the war, we held about 28 percent of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.

Karamatic repeated that he still advocates the revival of Herzeg-Bosnia and that this can be achieved by “terminating Dayton”, which he argued is an option “if a party is deceived after signing the agreement”.

“A Bosnia and Herzegovina like this is not worth fixing,” he said, adding that the president of the HNS, Dragan Covic, “keeps talking all the time about the preservation of BiH.”

“I'm not sure we should go in that direction,” he said,arguing that BiH is at “a turning point” and that all that would be needed is “a little radicalization of the situation to show the international actors a little better how dysfunctional this country is.”

“I am for BiH, but not one like this. I am for a state of three equal peoples,” Karamatic told N1.

When asked what about “Others”, those in the country who do not declare themselves as members of the three constituent peoples, Karamatic simply said: “There are no others”.

Karamatic argued that “Covic is good for the Bosniaks” but that he is “not sure that he is good for the Croats”.

Karamatic said that even “a good number of Bosniak intellectuals” are advocating the creation of a third entity.

“In my opinion, it's like a marriage, if it doesn't work well, we should separate and raise the children together”, he said and added that it can be resolved before the international court and that BiH, Serbia and Croatia have the right to appeal. However, he added that he is aware that a consensus will never be reached in BiH for terminating the Dayton Agreement.

Karamatic said that there is no discussion on this option within the HNS, even though he stressed the idea at the sessions, but that Covic and his Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) were not in favour of it.

“Serbs are going their own way, Republika Srpska is moving further and further away from Bosnia and Herzegovina, largely due to the narrative of political Sarajevo. National Islamism is the dominant thesis of most Sarajevo-based parties. That cannot happen,” Karamatic said.

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