(LibertySociety.com) – Following calls for Serbian secession from Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, the United States Air Force conducted a flyover to show support for Bosnia. Dodik is pro-Russia, which has evoked fear among Western countries who worry that the Russian government could be aiming to cause conflict in the Balkans to distract from the war in Ukraine. The flyover was part of an American-Bosnian joint training exercise, which was heard in the Serb entity town of Banja Luka. Dodik brushed off the flyover and claimed that it added to the routine celebrations taking place that day. During a speech, Dodik made clear that the Serb people were supportive of a Serb state.
The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo released a statement that detailed the training. According to The Associated Press, it said that the training “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to ensuring the territorial integrity of BiH (Bosnia-Herzegovina)” as it faces calls for secession. The statement also discussed the BiH Constitution, which says that there is no right to secede. The embassy warned that the United States would “act if anyone tries to change this basic element.” The embassy was referencing the Dayton peace agreements, which marked the end of the three-year war that began in 1992.
The war broke out in the 1990s due to Serbs in Bosnia advocating to create their own state by joining Serbia. The United States brokered the Dayton peace agreements after over 100,000 people were killed. The agreements created two separate entities, Serb and Bosniak-Croat. They are bound together by joint institutions. Dodik is the president of the Republika Srpska, the Serb entity. He has continuously failed to comply with sanctions from the U.K. and the United States. He has issued threats of seceding from the Bosniak-Croat entity on numerous occasions. On January 8, the government of Republika Srpska reportedly unlawfully began celebrating the anniversary of the 1992 proclamation that the Serbs were independent from Bosnia. This proclamation led to the outbreak of the war. The U.S. Embassy’s statement also made clear that the United States is always ready and able to make its presence known at any given time.
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