The US has launched "a serious and wide-reaching diplomatic initiative for a constitutional reconstruction of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina," according to unnamed diplomatic sources quoted by local media, in a bid to break the political gridlock holding back the country.
Sarajevo daily Dnevni Avaz reports that the US has "already secured the support of partners in the international community, including the EU, and preliminary contacts with political leaders show there is readiness for changes in the federation". The Office of the High Representative (OHR) "confirmed that something serious was under way", but its spokesman would not reveal whether it would be taking part in the initiative.
After the 1992-95 war, which ended with the Dayton Accords, in Bosnia-Herzegovina was organized in two entities: the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation. The latter entity is further sub-divided into cantons. Political gridlock has ensued, which is harming the country's development.
According to the reports, expert groups have already been set up and are preparing an international conference to discuss the future shape of the country for early next year. The initiative covers all options: decreasing the number of cantons, changing cantonal borders, transferring certain competencies, abolishing offices, and other changes aimed at making the structure of the Federation more efficient. The only option not offered in the initiative is further division along national lines and the possibility of denying the rights of one of the three constituent peoples.
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