Bosnian Serb referendum banned in Brcko District

The referendum Bosnian Serb authorities plan to organise on September 25 will not be allowed in the territory of Brcko District, which is a separate territorial unit within Bosnia and Herzegovina, US diplomat Bruce Berton, who is the international community's supervisor for Brcko, decided on Friday, thus sending the first concrete warning that the vote, which is considered to be a breach of the Dayton peace agreement, will not be tolerated.

Berton, who is also the international community's Deputy High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, refused to give his consent for the referendum in Brcko District.

In the referendum, set for September 25, citizens are expected to vote on whether to recognise a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina that declared the marking of January 9 as the Serb entity's day as unconstitutional.

It was planned that the referendum should also cover the area of Brcko, where residents of that district who have Serb entity citizenship would participate in the vote.

Along with Bosnia and Herzegovina citizenship, all citizens of that country also have the citizenship of one of its two entities.

Ambassador Berton said in a press release that his decision to ban the referendum in Brcko District was the result of the international community's clear position that referendums on rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina were unlawful.

Under a decision from 2007, referendums in Brcko District may be held exclusively with the previous approval of the international supervisor. The purpose of the decision was to make sure that referendums in Brcko District were in line with domestic and international laws, particularly the Dayton peace agreement that ended the war in the country in 1995.

Last update: Fri, 19/08/2016 - 15:19

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