Here’s a discussion on TRT World (Turkish World Service of sorts) on Bosnia, 25 years after the Srebrenica massacre.
I’m one of the pundits, joined by Denis Dzidic and Florian Bieber both making plenty of sense:
The sub-questions included:
Is there peace in the Balkans?
How long will the Dayton borders last?
Ah. Timescale! Or if you like, Wittgenstein: what is the standard for measuring success (or indeed for measuring measurement)?
I was asked (18.00) whether a land-swap between Kosovo and Serbia is a Pandora’s Box opening that might help Republika Srpska break away from Bosnia.
Answer: of course not.
Any such land-swap would happen ONLY because the leaderships in Priština and Belgrade agreed to it. As the Bosniacs won’t agree to RS breaking away, verily a Serbia/Kosovo deal strengthens their position as it reaffirms the principle that they need to agree! Oh, and see what happened to Catalonia when it tried its clumsy independence-lunge.
So … will the conflict start all over again?
I make the point that the idea of ‘ethnic disarmament’ (as President Izetbegović called it) is difficult and profound: we keep talking as if there is a natural happy place on which these Yugoslav issues can park and stay unchanged and unchanging indefinitely, but there is no such place. See the map of Europe and this region for the past 1000 years or so:
“The Dayton borders may last for fifty years. But sooner or later the issue will arise again, because it always does!”
Conclusion from this rather good discussion, ?
It’s all Very Complicated.
And it does not follow from the fact that Republika Srpska is going nowhere that Bosnia is going somewhere. At any point in the past 25 years and maybe in the next 25 years we could have exactly the same discussion?