“SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — A Serb strongman, who for years exploited ethnonationalist feelings to claim more power, publicly pledges to break his country apart, threatening to set off cascading conflict. The West, distracted by its own problems, barely notices.
No, that’s not Yugoslavia in 1991. It’s Bosnia and Herzegovina today. The country, whose complex constitutional order was painstakingly negotiated in the teeth of a bloody war and settled through the Dayton Accords, is on the brink of breaking up.
At the heart of the crisis is Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb leader and longtime separatist. In October, he announced plans to withdraw the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska, one of the country’s two administrative entities, from major state institutions. In what effectively amounts to secession, he intends to set up a separate taxation office, army and security forces. For a region with a recent history of ethnic violence and conflict, it’s a terrifying development.”