Anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Agreement (1): Initial for peace

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The Dayton Accords

It was the day when the guns finally fell silent and the bloody war in Bosnia ended. A war in which at least 100,000 people died, more than two million displaced, and material damage was measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. In the Elysée Palace, in Paris, on December 14, 1995, the Final Peace Treaty for Bosnia and Herzegovina was solemnly signed. The details were specified a little earlier, on November 21 at the American military base “Wright-Peterson” near Dayton.

The document envisaged the formation of a single state, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with three constituent nations and two entities: the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the signatories undertook to regulate mutual relations according to the UN Charter, the Final Helsinki Act and other OSCE documents, as well as on mutual respecting sovereignty and resolving misunderstandings in a peaceful and democratic manner.

The agreement, which is also known as the Paris-Dayton Peace Agreement, has a total of 11 annexes, which cover the military, political and civilian aspects of the peace agreement, as well as regional stabilization. Annex four of that agreement is today the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On behalf of the Serbian, Croatian and Bosniak people, this document was signed in Paris by Slobodan Milošević, Franjo Tuđman and Alija Izetbegović, and as witnesses and guarantors, the President of the USA, Bill Clinton, the President of France Jacques Chirac, the Prime Minister of Russia Viktor Chernomyrdin, the Prime Minister Great Britain John Major and Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl.

Today, 27 years later, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still under international administration, and the peoples not only could not agree on a holiday to mark this date, but also 30 years later – they are arguing about when and how the conflict started. .

There is no law on holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has any other law established a holiday that is celebrated in both entities.

In accordance with the Law on Holidays, the Republic of Srpska celebrates November 21 as a national holiday and non-working day – the Day of Establishment of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH. But the Republika Srpska celebrates January 9 as its day to commemorate the year 1992, when the Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Declaration on the Proclamation of the Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time, there is no holiday related to the Dayton Agreement in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The national holiday is BiH Statehood Day – November 25, which was taken as a sign of memory of 1943 and the session of the National Anti-Fascist Council of People’s Liberation of BiH in Mrkonjić City, when the decision was made to form a separate state within the future Yugoslav republic.

The beginning of the war

Just as there is no common date marking the end of the bloody war, there is also no agreement in Bosnia when exactly that war began.

For the Republika Srpska, the beginning of the Defensive-Patriotic War was on March 1, 1992, the second day of the referendum for the independence of BiH, which was boycotted by the Serbs, when Ramiz Delalić, the later commander, shot and killed the groom’s father at a Serbian wedding procession in the center of Sarajevo, in Baščaršija. Ninth Mountain Brigade of the First Corps of the RBiH Army.

For Bosniaks, the beginning of the war, or “aggression on BiH”, was April 6, 1992, when the alleged siege of Sarajevo began, while the first victims were Suada Dilberović and Olga Sučić, who were killed the day before during protests against the barricades and the war in the center of Sarajevo.

Lost original

Just like in the folk song “Nigđe nema stko u Bosni ima”, it was discovered in 2008 that the original copy of the Dayton Peace Agreement had disappeared from the archives of the BiH Presidency in Sarajevo. After the BiH Assembly requested a new copy, France sent a certified copy of that document.

Soon it turned out that Serbia doesn’t have its original either. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic explained in 2017, after October 5, 2000, not only that, but also the paper on which former US envoy Richard Holbrooke guaranteed that the US would never recognize Kosovo’s independence disappeared.

“Everyone acts silly when I ask them what happened to the document. It is unthinkable that Serbia does not have a preserved copy of the Dayton Agreement”, said Dacic.

Tomorrow – Anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Agreement (2): Country without prefix

Source: Vesti online by

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