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The US and European Union Are Worried That Milorad Dodik’s Actions Could Lead to Another Bosnian War

The US and European Union Are Worried That Milorad Dodik’s Actions Could Lead to Another Bosnian War

In the early 90s war erupted throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war was particularly egregious due to the ethnic cleaning of Serbian Muslims, also known as Bosniaks. In 1995, Bosnian Serbs killed more than 8,000 Bosniaks in what is now known as the Srebrenica massacre. This led to the United States getting involved and helping to broker the Dayton Agreement which ended the war.

Thomas Krych/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

That agreement, though, may not be holding. Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik is pushing against the agreement. His actions recently earned sanctions from the United States. Now, Dodik is using those sanctions as a way to create more support.

On January 9th, Bosnian Serbes celebrated an outlawed holiday that commemorates the 1992 creation of an independent state. Dodik said of the event, “This gathering is the best response to those who deny us our rights, … who keep imposing sanctions on us. It proves to me that I must listen to you, that you did not elect me to fulfill Americans’ wishes but to fulfill the wishes of Serb people.”

While the European Union and the United States are worried about the situation in Bosnia, some authoritarians seem excited about the events. Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orban, who was recently endorsed by Donald Trump, has thrown his support behind Dodik. Orban recently gave $100 million euros to Bosnian Serbs.

Branislav Borenovic, a Serb opposition party leader sees real danger in Dodik’s behavior. He told the New York Times, “[Dodik] plays on the emotions of his people and doesn’t care about the consequences. In a country of three million people, you can always find a few idiots to light the fire.”

A petition to get the United States further involved can be signed here

 

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