The Bosnian Misery

Julian Borger in the Guardian, ‘ … For the past decade, the country has drifted. Bosnia currently has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, according to World Bank statistics. The anger and despair fuels yet more nationalism, in part because the system is rigged that way. It is a self-sustaining machine for producing misery.

Up to now, that misery has been contained, out of sight from the rest of Europe, but not for much longer. With each passing week, the prognosis for Balkan stability grows more alarming. There are even murmurs of a possible return to conflict. They seem far-fetched for now, but their persistence reflects the depth of anxiety about the future.

… The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reached in Dayton on 21 November 1995 (and formally signed in Paris a few weeks later), was not just supposed to stop the killing. It was meant to heal the wounds of ethnic division. Yet, two decades on, the country remains as rigidly divided as ever, between a Serb half, the Republika Srpska, and a Federation of Bosniaks and Croats…  Izetbegović was in a bind. The 51-49% split had been agreed at talks in Geneva the previous year, and the US secretary of state, Warren Christopher, wanted to stick to it. By holding out over details, the Bosnian leader was told, he would be prolonging the killing of his own people … Thanks to Dayton, Karadžić’s Serbs snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat, the Republika Srpska was consolidated and Bosnia was condemned to permanent dysfunction,” says Marko Attila Hoare, a British historian and author of several books on Bosnia. “So it would have been much better for Bosnia if Dayton hadn’t happened.”  click here.