Aida Daguda Advocates for Urgent Change in Bosnia-Erzegovina
With the fall of the Berlin wall and the disappearance of the USSR, many things changed at the geopolitical level, such as the case of Bosnia-Erzegovina,
The Woman Post | ALEXANDRA DOMINGUEZ
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Especially for the new nations that emerged as a result of the disintegration of the former Soviet republics, however, despite having passed 30 years, ethnic, cultural, and religious differences continue to demarcate a social gap in some of the new nations, such as the case of Bosnia-Erzegovina, which obtained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1992.
The population is mostly Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks, with a minority of Jews, Gypsies, and other origins.
There is an important difference between Bosnian and Bosniac, the second term characterizes an ethnic group, predominantly Muslim (50% of the total population of the country, of which 38% corresponds to Sunnis, and the rest to Shiites and other branches of Islam); while bosnio means national of Bosnia.
31% of the population is Serbian and professes Protestantism (Orthodox Church), while 15% of the population is Croatian and professes Catholicism.
The remaining percentage is represented by 17 minorities of different kinds, which come to be about 400,000 people, who according to the country's constitution are excluded from the power to hold any important political office (presidency, parliament, or congress) since they must be represented by the three main ethnic groups: Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks.
This was established in the Dayton Agreement of 1995, where it was agreed that the region would be made up of two autonomous factions: the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosniaks and Croats) and the Republic of Srpska (Serbs), whose central government would be made up of a member of each of these three ethnic groups, who would rotate in power every eight months until completing the presidential term of 4 years, which leaves other minorities present in the country excluded.
In 2005 Jakob Finci, a Jewish leader, and Dervo Sejdic, a Romani (Gypsy) leader, individually filed their complaint before the European Court of Human Rights, so that the discrimination present in the Bosnian constitution be eliminated; in 2009 they received a ruling in favor, which establishes that any member of that fraction of society recognized almost contemptuously as "others", can hold public and/or political positions.
However, despite this ruling in favor, 13 years and 5 presidential elections have passed without these minorities present in the country included in the elections, which continues to cause general discomfort among the leaders who represent the excluded communities – an exclusion that extends to any Bosnian who does not declare himself to belong to any of the three major ethnic groups.
For now, as denounced by Human Rights Watch and Aida Daguda, director of the Center for the Promotion of Civil Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a radical change in the national constitution is required since it is discriminatory and violates the inclusion rights of its citizens, categorizing them according to their ethnicity, their origin, or their religion.