UN Official Calls Bosnia Politically Stagnant

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 6:35 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina says the country is politically stagnant because its leaders are unwilling to talk and compromise.

Valentin Inzko told the Security Council Tuesday that rhetoric from Bosnian ethnic leaders is doing serious damage by spreading chauvinism, fear, and mistrust.

The 1995 peace deal that ended the war in the Balkans split Bosnia into a Serbian Republic and a Muslim-Croat Federation, each with its own administration. They are held together by a loose central government.

Inzko says Bosnian Croats continue to challenge the legality of the federal government while Serbian leaders threaten to split from Bosnia. Inzko says Muslim leaders have waned that splitting up the country could lead to conflict.

Many Western officials say Bosnia's confusing political set-up and constant tension between ethnic groups makes it nearly impossible to invest and do business there.

But Inzko urged the international community not to give up on Bosnia. He says abandoning the country would bring more disorder.

He said the European Union peacekeeping force should remain in place and that a U.N. High Representative is needed at least until Bosnia is self-sustainable and firmly on a path towards the EU and NATO.