For 3 1/2 years in the early 1990s, there was near-constant war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conflict was ended in 1995 with the signing of the Dayton Agreement. The agreement split the country among three groups; Bosnian Serbs, Bosniaks, and the Bosnian Croats.
The Bosnian Serbs, the most powerful of these groups, have never been happy with the agreement. And now the United States is placing sanctions on Milorad Dodik, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, as well as ATV, a media outlet that Dodik is accused of purchasing.
Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said in a statement, “Milorad Dodik’s destabilizing corrupt activities and attempts to dismantle the Dayton Peace Accords, motivated by his own self-interest, threaten the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire region.”
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken added, “Other leaders and entities linked to corrupt or destabilizing actors may also be subject to future actions by the U.S. Government.”
ATV responded to the sanctions in a statement to Reuters, “We are surprised with such a decision and regard as extremely trivial that a great state should take individual insinuations about ties between our media house and politicians as credible sources.”
And Dodik himself denied that he was attacking constitutional order in his country. “If they think they will discipline me in this way, they are very wrong,” he said. “I have now only got a motive to fight for the rights that have been taken away from us for 26 years.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.