Justitia et Pax

Balkans: message from Bishops of Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, “Dayton Agreement has not brought peace and justice”

“Although the Dayton Agreement has put an end to the bloodshed, it has not brought justice and equality to all citizens of the country; rather, it has given rise to an ongoing political conflict between national stakeholders and politicians that is making the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina more unstable and without prospects”. The three Bishops of Slovenia (Mgr. Stanislav Zore), Croatia (Mgr. Vjekoslav Huzjak) and Bosnia Herzegovina (Mgr. Franjo Komarica), presidents of the Justice and Peace Commissions of their respective countries, wrote this in a joint declaration. The text recalls the action taken by the Commission to denounce “the infringement of the rights of the citizens and peoples of BiH” and “the anti-democratic, irrational and dysfunctional organisation of the multi-ethnic State of BiH” set up by Dayton. “The dramatic situation of the Croatian people” is of concern since “over 45% of them are still away from those lands and more than 90% from the so-called Serb Republic”. The Bishops demand that “the conditions be created for the safe and sustainable return of all refugees and displaced persons”, and call for “a constitutional reform tending towards federalism, devolution, subsidiarity, and the legitimate representation of the constituent peoples and national minorities”. They “welcome” the “Report by the European Parliament of 15 February 2017, which reaffirms a willingness to help the State of BiH, more effectively, in its process of stabilisation and rapprochement towards European structures”.