Wednesday, August 29, 2007


UNITED NATIONS, New York (August 29,2007) - The Bosnian President Željko Komšić met with Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General and discussed the current social and political situation in Bosnia and the region.

They also talked about the first letter’s content sent by President Komšić and a member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdžić to the UN Secretary-General, as well as about the precise views of UN in relation to all open issues, first of all about Srebrenica.

"In Srebrenica, the UN was ineffective in preventing genocide,"Komsic said.

"In the FBIH Entity Serbs do not have the same rights as Bosniaks and Croats. In the RS Entity, Bosniaks and Croats do not have the same rights as Serbs. You cannot have a democratic country with such discrimination,",he said.

President Komsic also noted that "a Jew or person classified as other, who does not list his nationality, cannot be a member of the Bosnian Presidency."

Komsic said that further back, under (former Yugoslavia's communist dictator) Josip Broz Tito, rights of individuals and groups had been protected, and that this was the directly that Bosnian Constitutional reform should now be moving in.

President Komsic is slated to visit a Bosnian diaspora community in St. Louis on August 30. Then it's back to the region. Komsic also said that if Kosova independence were unilaterally declared, Bosnia would follow the position of the European Union and NATO.

In fact, Komsic said, the current tensions in the Southeastern Europe could all be relegated to the past when EU membership extends throughout the region. For Bosnia, reform of the police sector is a prerequisite, with borders and the multi-ethic character of the force still to be negotiated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (August 29,2007) - A team of DNA experts in Bosnia said it had identified its 10,000th victim of the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

"The 10,000th missing person to be identified using (a) unique DNA-led system was a man missing from the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995," the International Commission on Missing People (ICMP) said in a statement.

DNA analysis remains the only tool to identify thousands of nameless victims exhumed from mass graves across the former Yugoslavia.

The Sarajevo-based ICMP leads the process in an attempt to reveal the fate of 40,000 missing following the 1990s conflicts in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

The ICMP,which was established in 1996,opened two laboratories in Bosnia and developed sophisticated software that matches DNA taken from a victim's bone with blood from a living relative.

The major challenge in Bosnia is the identification of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre where up to 10,000 Bosnian men and boys were slaughtered after the genocidal Serbian aggressor overran the UN-run enclave of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

Their bodies had initially been buried in a dozen mass graves, but the Serbian aggressor later used bulldozers to move them in order to cover up their crime.

Some 3,000 genocide victims from Srebrenica have been identified so far.To date, the ICMP has made more than 12,000 DNA matches of different individuals in the region of the former Yugoslavia.

"While the work that has been carried out until today has been tremendous, we are just over half-way there," said ICMP director Kathryne Bomberger.

The commission hoped to make another "9,000 DNA matches," she said, adding that it hoped to carry on its work until at least 2010.

There are still more than 17,500 people missing in the region, including 13,000 in Bosnia, according to ICMP figures.


BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany (August 29,2007) – A seminar for history textbook authors from seven countries, including Bosnia, was organized by the Georg Eckert Institute (GEI) for International Textbook Research, in cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia. The aim of the seminar, which took place in Braunschweig, Germany, from 20-27 August 2007, was to raise the quality of history teaching in Bosnia.

The participants came from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Greece and Northern Ireland. Sixteen experts from Bosnia participated. The OSCE Mission to Bosnia, Council of Europe (CoE), GEI and the Bosnian education authorities used the seminar to discuss how to improve the quality of modern history teaching, as well as that of textbooks in Bosnia.

“This seminar was an important step forward. It showed that the work of international organizations like the OSCE, CoE, GEI and local partners is a successful results-oriented partnership”, stated Falk Pingel, Deputy Director of GEI. “The participants developed teaching models which would suit innovative history teaching in Bosnia the best”, concluded Pingel.

At the seminar the participants could both present their experience on textbook writing, as well as dispel certain dilemmas on teaching controversial subjects.” The topics discussed led the participants to undertake a detailed analysis of the existing textbooks from Bosnia and other countries.

They also helped to create teaching models on very sensitive topics, which we certainly need”, stated Milija Marjanovic, a history teacher from the Bosnian city of Banja Luka.

The diversity of the topics discussed such as the Ottoman period, Socialist Yugoslavia, War and the Dayton period, was useful: “We learned how modern textbooks could be written, and about working models applicable to the classroom”, concluded Arna Torlakovic, a history teacher from Sarajevo.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (August 29,2007) – The Bosnian government adopted the report tabled by the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations on the situation at the wheat market, together with a proposal of measures for alleviating the effects of the draught and stabilising the increase of the prices of flour and other wheat products at the Bosnian market.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers has called on the Bosnian Parliament to urgently adopt the Law changing the Customs Tariff Law in order to make possible the import of 100.000 tones of wheat free of customs.

The Council of Ministers tasked the Bosnian Ministry of Finance and Treasury to request the Indirect Taxation Authority to reduce VAT to 5 percent for the import of 100.000 tones of wheat.

The Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations has been tasked to through Bosnia's representatives maximally intensify activities on urgently convening a meeting of interagency commission for monitoring agreements on free trade with Serbia and Croatia.
This ministry has been also tasked to monitor the situation in this field, to inform the Council of Ministers and to propose possible further measures.

The Bosnian government also held a consultative discussion on the framework budget for 2008-2010.

The relevant ministry has been tasked to forward the framework budget to the Bosnian Presidency.

This document shows an overall increase of spending by the Bosnian state institutions in the amount of 861,8 million Bosnian Marks for 2008, which represents a 14,9 percent increase compared to spending planned for 2007.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also defined the proposal pf the law on adopting the law changing and amending the Bosnian Criminal Procedure Law. The Bosnian Ministry of Justice will forward this piece of legislation to the Bosnian Parliament for adoption.

This bill adopts the law changing and amending the Bosnian Criminal Procedure Law, which was endorsed by the High Representative on a temporary basis.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers concluded to withdraw from parliamentary procedure the proposal oof the law changing ad amending the Bosnian Criminal Procedure Law, which it adopted on June 20.

The Council defined the proposal of the law on establishing the BiH Bureau for implementing criminal sanctions, detention and other measures.

This law establishes the Bureau and identifies East Sarajevo, East Ilidza Municipality, as the headquarters of the Bureau. It also defines the construction of the building that will house the Bureau.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also adopted the proposal of the law changing and amending the Law on the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) and tasked the Bosnian Ministry of Security to forward it to the Bosnian Parliament.

This law defines cooperation with the INTERPOL General Secretariat and central state offices of INTERPOL, EUROPOL, SECI and other international police organisations.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (August 29,2007) – The Bosnian Minister of Safety Tarik Sadovic stated at a press conference in Sarajevo that a wide action has been conducted throughout Bosnia, performed by the Bosnian Ministry of Safety’s Immigration Department.

”I can say that it was a very successful action in which 80 persons illegally living in Bosnia have been discovered. They were also illegal employees. Most of them were employed at the private bakeries. Those persons are all of Albanian nationality”, Sadovic said.

”Those persons will be deported to the countries of their origin. That is the legal procedure and will soon be over”, Minister Sadovic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (August 29,2007) – The Bosnian Minister of Communications and Traffic Bozo Ljubic and his associates met with Raffi Gregorian, the international community's Senior Deputy High Representative in Bosnia and Supervisor for the Brcko District.

They talked about the current situation related to the construction of bridges on the Sava River Brcko – Gunja and Raca, as well as about the strategic documents in the traffic sector,the Bosnian Ministry of Communications and Traffic announced.

Gregorian expressed concerns over the situation with the Bosnian state border crossing over Sava. That crossing is a bridge connecting Brcko and Gunja (Croatia).

Gregorian was also interested in the Government’s opinion regarding the Raca River bridge.
Minister Ljubic emphasized that the Bosnian Ministry of Communications and Traffic is currently considering the issue and that it will be fully engaged in solving it, within its jurisdiction.

Gregorian expressed pleasure over the Ministry’s results regarding the strategic documents development from the traffic sector (transport policy, strategy, laws). He emphasized that the OHR is fully supportive of the Ministry’s activities.