The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 3 September to 9 September 2021. The Guernica Group will provide bi-weekly media updates with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at email@example.com for consideration.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 3 September 2021
Zeljko Komsic, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while participating at the Bled Strategic Forum, emphasised the need to reject the Dayton Agreement. He pointed out that giving up the concept of the Agreement has its legal, political, and moral justification. Komsic stated the following: “When it comes to the legal aspect, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of Zornic and Sejdic and Finci clearly stressed that the constitution had to be agreed due to genocide and ethnic cleansing and that so many years after the conflict the time has come to introduce full democracy. Whoever does not believe me, let them read those verdicts”. https://www.sarajevotimes.com/komsic-constitutivity-had-to-be-agreed-because-of-genocide-but-now-it-is-time-for-full-democracy/
Serbia – 3 September 2021
A year has passed since former US President Donald Trump held a signing ceremony that saw Kosovo agreeing to suspend its efforts to join international organisations for 12 months and Serbia agreeing to temporarily halt its counter-efforts to get countries to derecognise Kosovo. The agreed timeframe is now over and both sides are expected to resume their campaigns. https://balkaninsight.com/2021/09/03/kosovo-serbia-recognition-disputes-to-resume-as-moratorium-ends/
Montenegro – 5 September 2021
On the 5th of September, at least 20 people were injured in Montenegro during clashes between police and demonstrators trying to prevent the inauguration of the new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The police arrested eight people following the violence that disrupted the ceremony in Cetinje.
Kosovo – 7 September 2021
On the 7th of September, Kosovar activists interrupted a meeting of war crimes court officials and civil society members. The incident happened as the President of the Kosovo Special Chambers (KSC) Ekaterina Trendafilova and her team were holding an outreach meeting in the capital, Pristina, with civil society officials and journalists.
Bosnia and Hercegovina – 8 September 2021
Milivoj Petkovic, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in The Hague for war crimes in the Bosnian war wrote a letter to the President of the Hague Tribunal, Judge Carmel Agius, expressing regret for his involvement in the War.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 8 September 2021
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina has filed an indictment against Sena Hamzabegovic, charging her with having sent around 230.000 Bosnian marks (around 118.000 Euro) in several instalments to finance terrorist operations and activities by Bosnian citizens on the battlefields in Syria and Iraq.
Montenegro – 8 September 2021
The Montenegro State Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment charging the mayor of Niksic, Marko Kovacevic, with inciting national (ethnic), racial and religious hatred over remarks he made to media casting doubt on the 1995 genocide of Bosnians from Srebrenica.
Montenegro 9 September 2021
Montenegro plans to go ahead with a population census by the end of 2021, despite previous announcements that it could be postponed. The media reported that the government would soon discuss a Population Census Law and send it to parliament to adopt. Censuses are a sensitive topic in Montenegro, as they are across much of the region, and the plan has stirred concerns among most communities in the country, which is made up primarily of Montenegrins and Serbs.