BELGRADE – Bosnian Serbs are set to have a referendum on Sunday regarding their right to hold annual Republika Srpska Day celebrations, which take place on January 9.
The intention to hold the referendum has been confirmed by Republika Srpska’s President Milorad Dodik.
Republika Srpska is one of the two autonomous entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the other is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their relations are largely affected by the civil war among Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Croatians in 1992-1995.
Republika Srpska does not agree to celebrate the national day of Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 1, for on that day in 1992 the Bosnian parliament proclaimed the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina without the presence of Bosnian Serbs. Republika Srpska believes that Bosnia and Herzegovina could block the decision of the referendum, which would be a violation of the Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War.
On Friday, Republika Srpska’s Interior Minister Dragan Lukac said the referendum was under threat of a potential attack by radicalized Muslims, which was why there would be increased police presence on the day of the vote.