Bosnia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In recent years, many analysts have expressed concern that the international communitys efforts since 1995 to stabilize Bosnia are beginning to come apart. They noted that the downward trend has been especially evident since 2006, with the election of leaders with starkly divergent goals. Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska RS, one of the two semi-autonomous entities within Bosnia, has obstructed efforts to make Bosnias central government more effective and has at times asserted the RSs right to secede from Bosnia. On the other hand, Haris Silajdzic, a member of the central government collective presidency from the Bosniak ethnic group, has condemned the Republika Srpska as an illegitimate product of genocide. He has called for the abolition of the entities and a dominant central government. Efforts to reform Bosnias constitution have been at a standstill, although talks between the leaders of the largest Bosnian political parties in late 2008 and early 2009 gave a glimmer of hope of progress. There has been a debate about the future role of the international community in Bosnia. The Office of the High Representative OHR, chosen by leading countries and international institutions, oversees implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. An EU peacekeeping force, called EUFOR, is charged with keeping the peace in Bosnia and overseeing the Bosnian armed forces. The international community has vowed to close OHR after Bosnia meets a series of reform objectives, ending direct international oversight of Bosnia. After OHRs closure, international support for Bosnian reforms would be limited to aid and advice from the United States, European Union, NATO, and other institutions, with the prospect of eventual NATO and EU membership. Citing the improved security situation in Bosnia, France and other EU countries have called for EUFOR to be sharply reduced in size and limited to an advisory function.
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