Wednesday, February 6, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 6,2008) – European Union-backed reforms of Bosnia's police forces have stalled again, threatening to delay signing of a deal on further integration with the bloc, the Office of the International community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) said yesterday."Further rejection of the police reforms would only leave Bosnia behind other countries in the region.

The latest failure "sends the wrong signal to the EU about Bosnia's intention to continue its path" towards the bloc, the OHR said.

After initialing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union in December, Bosnia was expected to start implementing the reforms soon after and sign the deal in the first half of 2008.

The police reforms were an EU condition before the membership process could begin. In order to complete the signing Bosnia must implement them and show progress in its judiciary and media.

However, the latest round of talks last weekend between the six most influential political leaders in Bosnia failed.

Sulejman Tihic, leader of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), rejected a proposed model, saying it did not envisage unification of the ethnically divided police forces in Bosnia.

His move disappointed the international community, which is eager to see significant progress in Bosnia following the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions.

"It is unacceptable that politicians who had signed something and gave assurances to the commissioner (Olli Rehn) are no longer doing it," Doris Pack,a member oof the EU Parliament told reporters yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The International community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak accused Bosnian politicians and political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia of putting their interests above the interests of citizens of Bosnia.

"If authorities in Bosnia continue with such behaviour, the international community will have to take action," Lajcak stated yesterday.

However,SDA’s president Sulejman Tihic has accused Lajcak of unfair treatment, by taking the side of politicial representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia, and letting the prime minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia (RS) Milorad Dodik – intimidate him.

Tihic puts the responsibility for the SAA most likely not being signed soon on the international community and the High Representative Lajcak, because, as he stated, "they lack the courage to defy Dodik’s dictate".

In a press conference, Tihic announced that the SDA Party does not think that the proposed police reform would result in a single police structure in Bosnia, and that a central state police body would have no power over local police forces.

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