Aid and Accountability: Dayton Implementation
Aid and Accountability: Dayton Implementation
Table of Contents
  1. Executive Summary
Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans
Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans
Report 17 / Europe & Central Asia

Aid and Accountability: Dayton Implementation

Arrest of Suspects Indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal

Arrest of Suspects Indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal

  • The states most involved in the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA), the European Union and the states of the Contact Group (France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) must do all in their power to pressure the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republika Srpska, Croatia and the authorities of Croat-controlled Federation territory to arrest immediately all indictees in their jurisdiction and surrender them to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (Tribunal).
     
  • If these authorities fail to comply, and if key indictees remain at liberty by the time of the London Peace Implementation Conference, the North Atlantic Council must issue a directive instructing the Implementation Force (IFOR) to make the arrests.
     
  • All states must make additional resources available to the Tribunal, including funds, equipment and seconded staff with appropriate qualifications, to ensure that justice prevails.

Dayton Implementation Mechanisms

  • The states committed to the DPA implementation must develop mechanisms by which Bosnian government authorities, police and members of the military can be held accountable, and, if they violate the DPA, removed from public service or subjected to other sanctions.
     
  • The High Representative must appoint task forces, or ad hoc commissions of inquiry, to investigate actions or situations that seriously undermine the DPA, with a view to establishing responsibility therefor. The task forces should have credibility independent of the Office of the High Representative and should be able to complete their assignments quickly and without creating cumbersome procedures.
     
  • A DPA Implementation Council must be created with the power to dismiss or otherwise penalise public officials who obstruct implementation of the DPA, orders of the Tribunal, or laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina or either of the entities. The DPA Implementation Council should be chaired by the High Representative and include representatives of the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entities, as well as additional representatives of the international community.
     
  • IFOR’s mandate must be clarified or, if necessary, expanded to enable it to monitor the entities’ armed forces for violations of rights protected by the DPA. Where the responsible military command does not investigate allegations and sanction guilty soldiers, IFOR must be authorised to conduct its own investigation.
     
  • The states committed to the DPA implementation must use their economic influence to insist that the Minister of the Interior of Republika Srpska agree to have the UN IPTF supervise the vetting, restructuring and re-training of the Srpska police, in the same way that the Federation Minister has agreed to IPTF supervision of the Federation police.

Conditioning Economic Assistance on DPA Compliance

  • The international community must withhold all aid from any municipality, entity or country harbouring persons indicted by the Tribunal and in particular Republika Srpska, until key indictees are handed over for trial. Once the most prominent indictees are surrendered and future co-operation with the Tribunal is guaranteed, a substantial and visible aid package should kick in immediately.
     
  • The states committed to the DPA implementation and other donors must agree to co-ordinate their economic assistance programmes so as to promote compliance with the DPA. Bosnian authorities that obstruct the objectives of the DPA -- including the arrest of those indicted by the Tribunal as well as repatriation and reintegration of displaced persons -- must not receive economic aid; authorities that demonstrate a willingness to build a multi-ethnic society must be rewarded. Put simply: the more returnees, the more money; no returnees, no money.
     
  • The High Representative must convene a steering group of donors and aid agencies, and must issue guidelines for donor contracts to state explicitly that compliance with the DPA will be one of the factors used to determine the financial viability of projects.

Repatriation, Reintegration and Human Rights

  • The international community must focus on the repatriation of the estimated 300,000 Serb refugees from Croatia currently living in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska. It is easier to get the process moving in Croatia than in Bosnia and Herzegovina since there is more vacant housing and the winter is milder. In addition, an initiative which concentrates on the plight of Serb refugees is likely to boost the Serb community’s confidence in the international community and generate momentum for repatriation within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
     
  • Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina which permit and even encourage the return of minorities must be rewarded with economic assistance not only to accommodate the returnees but also to develop the local economic and social infrastructure, thus assisting those who remained during the war.
     
  • The High Representative must make the installation of telephone connections between the entities a priority, reward compliance with economic aid and champion this as part of an aggressive public information campaign.
     
  • The introduction of a neutral system of vehicle registration is imperative since, by concealing a car’s municipality of origin, it would reduce the fear factor for Bosnians travelling outside areas in which they belong to the majority community, thus boost freedom of movement.
     
  • The Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees, which was established by the DPA to effectuate the right of displaced persons to have their property restored to them or else receive compensation, must be provided with adequate financial support.
     
  • In order to support the repatriation and reintegration effort and forestall human rights abuses, the mandates of the UN International Police Task Force (IPTF) and IFOR must be sharpened. IPTF must be provided with executive authority to investigate crimes and police abuse, and with additional resources necessary to perform its functions effectively. IFOR must make it a high priority to safeguard areas where minorities or their houses are at risk.

Common Institutions and State Assets

  • The unification of Bosnia and Herzegovina has little prospect for success unless there is more to hold it together than the “common” institutions, which receive minimal and only grudging support from Republika Srpska, a foreign policy which in any event may be diminished by the entities’ “parallel relations”, and state obligations inherited from the former Yugoslavia. One of the significant issues of the DPA implementation process yet to be addressed is whether the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the entities succeed to former Yugoslavia’s state assets, including socially-owned property.  International law suggests that the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the successor.
     
  • The international community must support the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s right to succeed to its share of the former Yugoslavia’s state assets. Such support is consistent with the international law of state succession and will provide substance to the common institutions, thus bolstering Bosnia and Herzegovina’s viability as a state.

Elections

  • The international community must ensure that the OSCE’s mandate regarding the municipal elections remains identical to that stated in the DPA.
     
  • The OSCE must do the job it was entrusted with in the DPA, namely to “supervise ... the preparation and conduct” of the elections and assist the local governments in creating the necessary conditions for free and fair elections. Requesting the OSCE merely “to provide assistance for the preparation and conduct” of the municipal elections as stated in the concluding document produced at the Paris conference is not sufficient.
     
  • If something is blatantly wrong, the OSCE and the Provisional Election Commission (PEC) must address the issue, not cover it up. The first steps must be to carry out a thorough actuarial and demographic study, thus establishing the exact size of the electorate, and to produce an up-to-date electoral register in each municipality.  Without this the potential for fraud remains too great.
     
  • The final report of the Co-ordinator of International Monitoring for the 14 September elections, which was suppressed by the OSCE because of its critical evaluation of the organisation’s performance, must be published and the recommendations implemented.
     
  • Recommendations made by the Election Appeals Sub-Commission (EASC) in its report to the Head of Mission must be enacted into the PEC Rules and Regulations, in particular the PEC must grant the EASC powers to annul results from specific poling stations and municipalities where fraud is found to affect the integrity of the vote, and provide for repeat polling.

Sarajevo, 24 November 1996

Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker talks to Crisis Group expert Marko Prelec about the precarious situation in the Western Balkans, as Serb separatism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the frozen Kosovo-Serbia dispute continue to stoke regional instability.

The Western Balkans, a region defined in part by not being in the European Union, also contains several countries that were devastated by war in the 1990s. Now it faces new troubles, driven in part by the legacies of the old. Bosnia and Herzegovina is confronted with calls for secession in the autonomous Serb-dominated region, Republika Srpska, as well as the ongoing electoral grievances of its Croat minority. Meanwhile, efforts to resolve Kosovo’s dispute with Serbia over its independence have come to a standstill, leaving minority communities on both sides of the border vulnerable.

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker talks to Marko Prelec, Crisis Group’s Consulting Senior Analyst for the Balkans, about why ethnic tensions persist in the region and whether there is any risk of a return to conflict. They discuss the prospects for European integration, asking whether the promise of EU membership remains an effective incentive for resolving these longstanding disputes. They also consider what impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had for stability in the Western Balkans, a region where painful memories of war are still very salient today.



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For more of Crisis Group’s analysis, make sure to check out our Balkans regional page and keep an eye out for our upcoming report on the risk of instability in the Western Balkans.

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