BiH: AF BiH military exercise
Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, calls on the Council of Ministers to dismiss Defense Minister Sifet Podžić because he “violated the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina” by deciding to postpone the exercises military forces between the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the army of the Republic of Serbia.
The exercise was due to take place in the first half of October at the Manjača military training ground, near Banja Luka, but Podžić, without the consent of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as supreme commander, postponed the ‘event.
“Podžić neither addressed nor consulted the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He obviously consulted Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić, because I can’t believe that he would dare to do something like that alone, ”Dodik told Srna news agency.
Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina has announced criminal proceedings against Podžić, who he says does not deserve and will not enjoy any confidence in any decision the Defense Ministry puts forward to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina .
“I think it was motivated exclusively by his hatred of the Serbian people and of Serbia, and that is the only reason they took such a decision,” said Dodik.
The Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina stressed that this was an attack on the interests of the Republika Srpska.
“It only shows that we were right when we said that our consent should be withdrawn from the reform of the armed forces, that we should return jurisdiction to the Republika Srpska and that the Srpska can decide this independently as it is stipulated by the Dayton Accords and the Constitution, ”Dodik said.
But, Podžić denied the political context of the postponement. Podžić explained that the reasons are the worsening epidemiological situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the two countries.
“Not enough soldiers have been vaccinated, so I don’t want to risk the soldiers getting infected. As soon as the epidemiological situation improves, the exercise will be scheduled again because there is no other reason not to organize it, ”Podžić stressed.
The President of the Council of Ministers, Zoran Tegeltija, who is a member of the Dodik SNSD party, called on Podžić to withdraw his decision. Tegeltija stressed that the reasons for postponing the implementation of the “Manjača 21” military exercise were unfounded. Tegeltija said that if Minister Podžić does not act in accordance with this invitation, he will be forced to act in accordance with the powers of the President of the Council of Ministers.
“Considering the epidemiological situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we know that during this year several military exercises and other AFBiH activities were organized with countries and partner organizations at various locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina where all epidemiological measures prescribed by the competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have been observed. . In terms of financial resources, you know that the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Decision on the Temporary Funding of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which enabled the AFBiH to function. correctly and perform the tasks prescribed and defined by law within its competence and that the Republic of Serbia bears all the costs of holding a military exercise for members of the army of the Republic of Serbia, to the ‘except for food costs,’ Tegeltija says in the letter.
Tegeltija added that having in mind all of the above, he believes “that the unilateral adoption of such a decision by the Minister of Defense is a violation of the Law on Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which ‘it is also unjustified and represents a non-diplomatic step concerning the Republic of Serbia.