Wednesday, December 26, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 26,2007) – The Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia Ambassador Douglas Davidson is of the opinion that 12 years past the end of the1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia, there are too many unsolved war crimes cases.

”Justice demands processing of as many cases as possible. Truth can be determined this way; basis for reconciliation between peoples, who fought war some time ago, can be created this way, Ambassador Davidson said.

He stated that the OSCE Mission has offered some limited expert assistance to the Bosnian State Prosecutor’s Office in the process of development of a strategy and solving of the most important cases. Many of them are yet to be solved.

Davidson is of the opinion that an accelerated solving of the war crimes could help create conditions of sustainable return in Bosnia. He stated that most of the Bosnian citizens who wanted to return to their pre-war houses have done so. However, authorities have not created all the conditions necessary for sustainable return.

He added that the adequate social care without discrimination could contribute sustainable return.

In that sense, Ambassador Davidson emphasized a significant role of the local authorities in Bosnia, for towns are the first and the most frequent instance of contact between the citizens and authorities’ representatives.

Davidson started that the OSCE officials for democratic processes have contributed a lot in the sector. The number of municipalities has significantly increased, as well as the level of fiscal control and transparency.

Commenting the sector of the Bosnian education, Davidson said that schools have been divided on the ethnic basis and that they are still functioning, in spite of the obligations taken over five years ago. Davidson added that such system of schooling in Bosnia needs to end.

He warned that different curricula and division on ethnic basis decreases the level of understanding in the country.

On the other hand, Davidson stated that District of Brcko has found a way of dealing with these issues and that students there are able to attend schools in the way that they listen to lectures in their mother tongues without being separated from the students of other ethnic groups.

Ambassador Davidson is of the opinion that this could serve as a solution to illegal practices and ethnic divisions which marked education in other parts of the country.

Commenting the military stabilization, OSCE Head of Mission emphasized that Department for Security and Cooperation of the Mission continued with activities in 2007 in order to make Bosnia peaceful and safe.

Officials of this department assisted the Bosnian Army inspections in order to ensure all obligations related to weapons control defined by the Dayton Agreement are implemented. That resulted in decrease of the number of small-calibre weapons and ammunition.

Officials of the department also cooperated with domestic and international partners in the process of strengthening civil supervision of the army. That also means parliamentary monitoring, which is one of the bases of every developed democracy.

OSCE officials, Davidson stated, will continue with activities in 2008, especially in the human rights sector, democratization, education and regional military stability. Although the Mission will decrease in the number of personnel and locations, OSCE goals will remain more or less the same.

The overall goal of the OSCE Mission will be helping Bosnia strengthen democracy, rule of law and human rights for all citizens, who should be equal before the law, regardless of their ethnicity, Davidson stated.

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