Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

US imposes sanctions on Bosnian leaders for ‘undermining’ peace accords

US Treasury Department headquarters. (Dreamstime/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The United States has imposed sanctions on two leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, saying they have threatened the stability of the region by undermining the Dayton peace accords and democratic processes or institutions.

The two officials hit with sanctions on June 6 are Marinko Cavara, the president of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, and Alen Seranic, the minister of health and social welfare of the Bosnian Serb entity, the Republika Srpska, the Treasury Department said in a news release.

“Marinko Cavara and Alen Seranic have each sought to pursue ethno-nationalist and political agendas at the expense of the democratic institutions and citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the news release.

Cavara has refused to nominate judges to the federation’s Constitutional Court, blocking the function of the court’s Vital National Interest (VNI) panel, a body intended to address key issues raised by delegates in parliament.

“Through his inaction, Cavara has held hostage the function of the VNI panel to further his and his party’s political interests,” the news release said.

The Treasury Department said its sanctions against Seranic came after it expanded sanctions earlier this year on Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who has led a campaign to strengthen a secessionist bid to withdraw from state-level institutions despite warnings from the West.

It said the sanctions against Seranic were designed to “further address this destabilizing behavior.”

Seranic has led the implementation of a law on medicines and medical products that would establish a new medicines agency solely within the Republika Srpska.

“Seranic has publicly admitted that this law mirrors the functions of the state-level medicines agency, except that the agency it creates transfers authority from the state-level agency to a regulatory authority for medicines and medical products within the RS,” the Treasury said.

A state-level institution that serves Republika Srpska and Bosnia already exists, and thus “the establishment of this new entity-level agency obstructs or threatens the implementation of the Dayton peace accords,” the Treasury said.

The sanctions order freezes any U.S. property and assets held by the two men and bars U.S. persons from dealing with them.