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From Dayton to Butmir: The Future of Bosnia

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009

Last month, two rounds of high-level meetings on the future of Bosnia took place at the military base of Butmir, on the outskirts of Sarajevo. The meetings recalled similar talks held almost 15 years ago, at another military base in Dayton, Ohio. Those talks ended Bosnia's raging civil war, and the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995 laid the foundations of the post-war Bosnian state. The current efforts to revise the country's constitutional foundations, and hence make it more functional, have already been called "Dayton 2" by commentators. For now, though, they are unlikely to repeat the success of the original.

The Butmir talks followed the international community's heightened and often-repeated concerns that Bosnia is in the midst of its worst political crisis since the end of the war. And as Valentin Inzko, the U.N. high representative to Bosnia who also acts as the European Union's (EU) special representative, has repeatedly warned, the situation is worsening. ...

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