Bosnia braces for secessionist Serb parade

Bosnia braces for secessionist Serb parade |

Bosnian Serbs will hold a controversial parade on Monday to mark the “statehood day” of their entity, Republika Srpska (RS), although Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Constitutional Court had long ruled the holiday unconstitutional.

At the end of a brutal 1992-95 war amongst Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, post-war Bosnia was divided into two loosely connected entities, the Serb half and the Bosniak-Croat Federation, where 9 January – the day when Serbs formed their separatist assembly in 1992 – is seen as the start of their brutal ethnic cleansing campaign against non-Serbs.

According to the media, more than 2,500 Bosnian Serb police will participate in the parade in the Serb-controlled Eastern Sarajevo and not in the RS’s de facto capital Banja Luka, where the opposition is in power.

Muhamed Švrakić, president of the Bosniak veteran association Green Berets, told Oslobodjenje daily that around 3,000 Russian volunteers, who had fought on the side of Serbs in the war, are also expected although this has not been officially confirmed.

Benjamina Karić, the mayor of the capital Sarajevo, called the parade “a provocation and an evil intention”. The Sarajevo police appealed to the citizens to refrain from provocation or conflict during the parade.

Bosnian Serb secessionist leader Milorad Dodik, who was recently confirmed as the new RS president, is the main champion of the statehood day parade. Dodik has repeatedly threatened to oversee RS’s secession and has called for a “peaceful break-up” of BiH.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić is expected to send an official delegation to the parade, headed by his son Danilo and Welfare Minister Nikola Selaković.

Vučić and Dodik maintain close ties with Moscow and have refused to join in the EU sanctions against Moscow.

(Zoran Radosavljević |


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