Go to the Middle East and North Africa programme's page
The question itself seems unnecessarily alarmist: Does Bosnia risk becoming another Libya? Step away from the headline, however, and there are sound reasons for feeling extremely concerned about the direction that Bosnia is going.
This is the argument that Lord Paddy Ashdown, who was the international community's representative in Bosnia, makes in a piece published in today's Times, here in Britain (the piece is behind a pay wall, but if you are willing to spend the money, you'll find it at www.thetimes.co.uk). The things that concern Lord Ashdown are not new - for instance he points towards the dysfunctionality of a political system designed to stop the war that has failed to adapt to the peace, a sclerotic economy that is failing to provide viable futures for the young of Bosnia, and flashpoints such as the building of a church next to the Muslim graveyard in Srebrenica. There is, Lord Ashdown argues, also a lack of engagement from the international community:
"Even more foolishly, Brussels and many European capitals allowed themselves to be persuaded that inaction was the best policy, even when the evidence became overwhelming that the dynamic in Bosnia had, thanks largely (but not exclusively) to Mr Dodik [the president of the Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska], turned from one of progress towards statehood to one of retreat back to nationalism and dissolution."
Luckily, Lord Ashdown was able to spare ten minutes this morning for a quick interview on Bosnia. The result is this podcast (click to listen). It's a reminder that in this complicated world, even when we have so many other things to worry about, complacency is dangerous. I hope you enjoy listening.
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