RS Lawmakers Will Discuss ICJ Ruling Appeal Today

The Republika Srpska entity assembly will convene today to discuss a report on the request for review of the International Court of Justice ruling in the Bosnia vs. Serbia genocide case. The report says that the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina never discussed the request or passed a decision to launch the review.

“Taking this into account, we believe that the material or formal requirements for filing a request for review were not fulfilled and that there is no legal standing for such a procedural action in the proceedings before the International Court of Justice. Any legal representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina before the Court  in The Hague without a proper decision of the Presidency is not legally valid and constitutes an unconstitutional act and an act of personal misrepresentation of the (agent),” according to the report.

It is expected that the lawmakers will be addressed by the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Ivanić and the RS president Milorad Dodik.

Bosnian Croat Broadcaster Pitch Will Be Presented on Monday

Media and communications officials of the assembly of Bosnian Croat parties, HNS, Ivan Vukoja and Ilija Musa, told a press conference that the HNS wants the public broadcasters in the country restructured as to include a broadcaster in Croatian language. Details of the the assembly’s proposed restructuring will be presented in a public debate in Sarajevo on Monday, February 27.

Musa said that the current structure of the public broadcasting system is not right for Bosnian Croats. According to him, the structure of the public broadcasting system should reflect the constitutional, social, and political fact that Bosnia has three main ethnic groups.

“The introduction of a public broadcaster in Croatian language would lead to harmonization and integration of Bosnian public media space,” said Musa.

Bosnia has three public broadcasters, one national (BHRT) and two entity broadcasters (RTRS and RTV FBiH).

Speaking on the proposal of the HNS, Vukoja said that it is intended to explain and prove that Bosnian Croats as one of the three main groups have the right to a public broadcaster in their language. According to that right, he said, they offered a transformation of the entire system because they believe the current concept and model of the system is not in accordance with the Constitution and its basic principle on three main ethnic groups in the country.

Vukoja said that the existing system – two entity broadcasters and one national – reflects the territorial division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but not the fact that the country has three main groups.

Speaking on the models suggested by the HNS, Vukoja said that their basic model reflects the basic structure of BiH – three main groups – and that each of them should have their own public broadcaster, with one national broadcaster to serve all main and minority groups. He added that the current entity broadcasters, the RTRS and RTV FBiH, would be excluded from the public broadcasting system, get the status of entity broadcasters and be financed from the entity budgets.

The HNS has also a back-up model, according to which the public broadcasting system would be made of the umbrella BHRT at the national level, the RTRS and Radio and Television of the Federation. The Federation broadcaster would have two radio and television services, one in Bosnian and one in Croatian language. The RTRS would broadcast in Serbian, Vukoja said.

“Micro Cinema” Photos from Nicaragua Exhibited in Sarajevo Galery

A photo exhibition “Veni, Ve-Audiovisual Integration” by Austrian photographer Raphael Reichi opened at Sarajevo’s gallery of contemporary art Brodac. The exhibition consists of photos and videos created using the concept of “micro-cinema”. Reichi shot the photos and videos while in a peacekeeping mission in Nicaragua.

“When I arrived in Nicaragua, I encountered a whole new culture. My Spanish was not good, so I learned and recorded everything that impressed me as a passive observer. Every photo has a story, emotions, which are also a kind of reflection on the culture diversity,” Reich told Klix.

He thanked the Brodac gallery for helping him with the exhibition concept.

The exhibition will be open until 9 March.

Torrents Cut off Sarajevo-Zenica Highway

Torrents caused by a landslide breached the temporary banks built by the civil protection and flooded a section of the highway between Sarajevo and Zenica at the town of Kakanj in central Bosnia. The news comes one day after more than 150 people were forced to evacuate their homes in the area because the landslide at a nearby open pit coal mine threatens to bury their villages.

The landslide also blocked a local river, creating a lake and raising fears of flooding. Parts of a nearby road were buried by soil, prompting its closure and several electricity poles were uprooted by the slide, disrupting power in the area, reported AP.

Management of the Kakanj coal mine said the evacuees will receive compensation for their lost homes and will likely have to abandon their villages permanently.

Social Democrats Put on a Brave Face after Three Prominent Members Quit

The Social Democratic Party is a big family in which everybody has a place and is welcome to be part of a family and a team founded on a 107-years-old idea, said the party after its three prominent members quit the membership.

The SDP said that Igor Kamočaji, Jasenko Selimovic and Lidija Korać quit the party on their own.

“The truth is that those people have marked a period in the SDP. We respect their personal decision and wish them luck in their private and professional life,” the SDP said in a statement.

The party said they will continue pursuing the policy of openness towards other political entities willing to run against the ruling nationalist parties in the 2018 general election.

“We will work to make the SDP a strong (party) that is accepting of everybody who wants to fight for a Bosnia and Herzegovina in which which everybody is equal and in which the rule law is above anyone’s individual will,” said the party.

Kamočaji, Selimovic and Korać were among the SDP’s influential members and have held important positions in the party and in the government institutions at the time when the SDP was in the government.

FM Hosts Diplomats for an ICJ Ruling Appeal Talk

Bosnian Foreign Minister had an informal meeting with ambassadors and heads of missions in the country on Jahorina mountain, at which they discussed the appeal to the 2007 ICJ ruling that cleared Serbia of complicity in Srebrenica genocide. Minister Igor Crnadak told the diplomats that the appeal was not backed by the institutions and that he expected them to support the principles of compromise and dialogue between Bosnia’s main ethnic groups, as well as the significance and role of the institutions.

Crnadak said that the legitimacy of the decision to appeal the ruling, as well the legitimacy of the country’s agent who lodged the appeal, was questionable and problematic and that he will inform the ICJ about that, the Foreign Ministry said.

He also informed the diplomats that the Bosniak member in the Presidency, Bakir Izetbegović, told the Bosnian ambassador in The Hague not to deliver his letter to the ICJ, thus violating the rules of the Bosnian diplomatic-consular network.

Power Company Reports Record-high Revenue

Government-controlled power utility Elektroprivreda BiH said it achieved record revenue of 1.03 billion KM in 2016, 50 million KM more than in 2015. The company’s profit for the year amounted to 12.9 million KM, it said in a statement, without specifying if the figure refers to net or gross profit.

“Despite 2016 being the first fiscal year of open market rules and poor hydrologic and weather conditions, the continuous production, regular and stable supply of customers, and the achieved financial results, which were significantly higher than planned and above the results achieved in 2015, all indicate that EPBiH operated successfully and contributed to the preservation of the power sector as a stable part of the Bosnian economy,” the company said.

In 2016, EPBiH produced 7,244.7 GWh of electricity, boosted by a significant increase in production in coal power plants Tuzla and Kakanj.