Anti-government protests continue in Bosnia


Thousands of Bosnians have again staged demonstrations in the capital Sarajevo and several other cities, calling for the resignation of the government in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of two autonomous republics, Press TV reports.

Bosnians have been protesting against rampant corruption and high unemployment in Sarajevo and other major cities over the past seven days, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, more than 1,000 people gathered in Sarajevo to protest in front of the presidency of the Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The protesters were shouting “resignations” and called on the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina to start working or leave.

The Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina was established in 1995 following the Dayton Peace Agreement to oversee the implementation of the agreement that ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The OHR’s representative is the state’s ultimate authority and with the power to “compel the entity governments to comply with the terms of the peace agreement and the state constitution.”

“This gathering represents people’s dissatisfaction. Our government does not care about its people. These protests will not stop until the entire government reigns,” a protester told Press TV.

“They say our constitution does not allow the government to be replaced, but we have High Representative Valentin Inzko, but he does not want to do anything. He receives good salary … and does not care about Bosnia,” he added.

Members from the police’s intervention force were sent to the presidency building to protect it from possible attacks.

The protesters then went in front of the Federation government building and blocked all the main streets in central Sarajevo. They demanded that the Federation government resign. The protesters also urged everyone to refrain from violence.

“I am here to support my fellow citizens. We want the current government to give authority to the people, who were here during the war, who defended this country, but today they are without jobs,” a protester said.

On Friday, thousands of demonstrators stormed the presidency and other government buildings and set them ablaze in the Balkan country’s worst social unrest since the 1992-1995 war that left 100,000 people dead and 2.2 million homeless.

In response to the unrest, local governments in Sarajevo and four other cities resigned.

Bosnia’s unemployment rate stands at more than 40 percent, the highest in the Balkans. One in five Bosnians lives below the poverty line. And corruption is said to be widespread, with high taxes eating away people’s income.