Izetbegovic: I'm no enemy of Serb people but of xenophobic, anti-Bosnian policy

NEWS 25.01.2021 17:44

The leader of the main Bosniak Party in BiH Bakir Izetbegovic said Monday that he is not the enemy of the Serb people, but of the xenophobic, anti-Bosnian and anti-Bosniak policy, “which I will always be against,” after the uproar against his recent statement commenting on the policies of Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb Presidency Chairman known for his anti-Bosnian rhetoric.

He said he is used to politicians from Serbia and the Bosnian Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska, as well as part of the media, twisting and interpreting his words on purpose in an attempt of making him “the enemy of the Serb people.”

“Obviously, they will do the same with my last call to stop supporting the xenophobic, chauvinistic and retrograde policy pursued by Milorad Dodik, which is directed against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniaks, but also Serbs who do not support his views. The reactions that followed, the names of the people and the way they reacted, confirm that I told the truth,” Izetbegovic noted and added:

“It’s high time for the Serbian people to face the truth, because, the committed crimes were neither individual nor at the level of incidents. Tens of thousands of Bosniak and Croat women, someone's daughters and wives, were raped. Tens of thousands of civilians, Bosniaks and Croats who had previously been subjected to horrific torture in concentration camps, were killed. These were someone's sons, brothers, fathers. I primarily call on Milorad Dodik to:

– acknowledged the genocide against Bosniaks and apologized on behalf of the Serb people,

– stop glorifying convicted war criminals and celebrating them as heroes,

– apologizes for naming the Student Home in Pale after war criminal Radovan Karadzic and for awarding decorations to other war criminals,

– stop chauvinistically insulting Bosniaks and other dissidents, including Serbs who do not support his policies,

– stop celebrating the day when Serb MPs decided to “territorially separate from Bosniaks and Croats” and to allow Bosniaks and Croats in the RS entity to have the same rights as Serbs,

– provide Bosniaks in the RS entity with a constitutional right to the Bosnian language,

– ceases to pursue a policy directed against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to begin to respect its institutions,

– stop pursuing a separatist policy and dedicate himself to building a state and society in which every person, regardless of religious and national affiliation, will feel safe and equal.”

Speaking about what he thinks is behind Dodik’s policy and whether the Bosnian Serb political leader is serious when he keeps announcing the secession of the Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Izetbegovic, the leader of the Democratic Action Party (SDA) said that he believes Dodik wants to be remembered as a politician who kept the idea of secession open for some possible future times when such a thing would be possible.

“He knows he can’t do it. And when they say ‘there are no bad people, there are only bad leaders’ – I’m not so sure about that. He is appealing to a large number of people who support a raw Balkan policy,” Izetbegovic stated.

When asked whether he was talking about the Serb people as a whole, he said that he was talking about “voters who are supporting him because they want his rude behaviour.”

Dodik, who currently chairs Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, said on Saturday that he is congratulating Izetbegovic for his honesty, adding that the Bosniak political leader finally showed what kind of Serbs are acceptable to him and his Party of Democratic Action, (SDA) – “those who are suitable and serve Bosniak interests.”


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