Bosnia and Herzegovina: Inevitable changes in the security structure?
The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. Following the physical assault on the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide which took place on 11 July 2015, IFIMES has analysed the current situation in the security system of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most relevant parts from the analysis entitled “Bosnia and Herzegovina: Inevitable changes in the security structure?”are published below.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Inevitable changes in the security structure?
The physical assault on the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide which took place on 11 July 2015 has opened numerous unresolved questions regarding the security system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
Had the usual professional standards been duly applied, the heads of security and intelligence agencies at the level of Bosnian-Herzegovinian state and the Republika Srpska entity should already have resigned or been replaced. But even the incumbent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to call the directors of those agencies to resign from office.
The same people carrying out investigations against themselves
The setting up of investigation and similar commissions will not yield any results since the situation is already perfectly clear. The failures made by security agencies were amateurish and/or deliberate. The idea to lead all the high international representatives, foreign delegations, heads of states and governments along a 200 metre march line through the crowd of about 60,000 relations of genocide victims on the day of burial and after several months of political spinning in the Republic of Serbia and the Republika Srpska (RS) entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina represent an act of the most serious crime. It is inconceivable that security agencies could have made such a failure and it would be absurd if the same people were to carry out investigations against themselves in this case. The security agencies and incumbent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina simply made a catastrophic mistake.
No one opposed the insane protocol
Analysts have even noted that the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is actually a hostage to the strongest security and intelligence agencies in BiH and other countries in the region. It is simply not possible that no one from the security structures has publicly opposed the insane protocol according to which the high officials were to be led just before the burial directly through the mass of people that had protested loudly against Vučić for hours before his arrival. Security agencies in BiH are nationally and territorially networked and there is absolutely no element that would support the plot or conspiracy theories that Serbian intelligence services have been disseminating for several days through the Serbian media.
The responsibility for the incident also lies with Serbia's security structures
The Vučić incident has pointed to the urgent need to review the Bosnian-Herzegovinian security structures at all levels. Of course the responsibility for the incident also lies with Serbia's security agencies which have directly co-operated with security agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was even possible to change the planned march route for Vučić before his arrival at the Potočari/Srebrenica Memorial Centre, bearing in mind that any professionally prepared security plan should include several variants in case of crisis situation or threats against protected persons.
Serbian propaganda machinery went on the offensive
Unless Bosnian-Herzegovinian authorities take immediate action, Serbian propaganda machinery will continue to run amok, spinning the scenarios of the assault on Vučić. The incident is in fact the final conclusion of Serbia's non-recognition of the Srebrenica genocide, which started with Naser Orić's apprehension based on a Serbian warrant and continued with Russia's veto on the UN Security Council resolution. All the above activities were aimed at minimising the importance of commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, and Vučić's presence in Srebrenica was the final act of the negation of genocide. In the last month Vučić intensified his activities for the non-recognition of the Srebrenica genocide, but yet he appeared in Srebrenica knowing that his visit will be of symbolic importance for the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the genocide.
Security experts believe that it is therefore of vital importance to apprehend the main perpetrators of the incident and at the same time to make some changes in the security structures of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Republika Srpska entity.
The present “lose-lose” situation also paves the way for further assaults against protected persons, especially those from the region visiting Serbia. Regrettably, in negating the genocide in Srebrenica and refusing to assume the responsibility for the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbian representatives recall Jasenovac, Jadovno, Kravice and even the killing of Serb wedding guest in Sarajevo, which means there is a real danger that the Vučić incident would serve them as an “excuse” for systemic prosecution of all those who oppose the negation of crimes and genocide and who fight for the truth. The real situation is actually just the opposite from that which is being presented these days in Serbia. The first step of Bosnian-Herzegovinian Presidency should therefore be to invite Prime Minister Vučić to visit Sarajevo in the near future.
Bearing in mind the obsolete, inadequate and inefficient police structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Vučić incident may serve as a strong motive for the implementation of the police and security reform which would enable the organisation of professional and unified police forces in the whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ljubljana, July 15, 2015