US Condemns Republika Srpska Referendum for Defying Bosnia’s High Court

© AFP 2022 / STR Bosnian Serbs rally 29 March 2007 in Banja Luka to demand a referendum on the independence of their entity of Republika Srpska
Bosnian Serbs rally 29 March 2007 in Banja Luka to demand a referendum on the independence of their entity of Republika Srpska - Sputnik International
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A referendum on Sunday by Republika Srpska (RS), one of two entities comprising Bosnia-Herzegovina as per the Dayton Peace Accords, to declare a national holiday in defiance of a ruling by the Bosnian Constitutional Court has been criticized as illegal, US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner said in a press release.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has expressed concern the referendum is an exercise of political brinkmanship that could eventually lead to an attempt by Republika Srpska to declare itself independent of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"The United States condemns this illegal referendum and will support local institutions as they seek to hold the RS leadership accountable for undermining the rule of law and obstructing implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords," Toner said in the release on Monday.

A man votes during a referendum on Statehood Day in Laktasi near Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 25, 2016. - Sputnik International
BiH Prosecutors Open Case Into Bosnian Serbs' Vote on Republika Srpska Day
The release urged all parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina to refrain from further divisive actions and rhetoric, and focus on urgently needed social, political and economic reforms.

The referendum occurred in response to a decision by the Bosnia-Herzegovina Constitutional Court to strike down a holiday held on January 9 marking the founding of Republika Srpska in 1992.

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