A nation on the verge of collapse
Bosnian Muslim politicians are at one another’s throats—and that’s a threat to peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, said Nedzad Latic. This country was torn apart in the 1992–95 Bosnian War, and stability here depends on a balance of ethnic Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian elements in government. If any one leg weakens, the stool will topple. The Party of Democratic Action (SDA) has been the main party of Bosnian Muslims since its founding in 1990 by Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnia’s wartime president. But the current leader, Izetbegovic’s son Bakir, has alienated party members. At least three top SDA lawmakers have quit the party in recent weeks, and each wants to form his own, new Bosnian Muslim party. Frustrated by this “disloyal secessionism,” Bakir reacted in “the worst possible way,” by using the word “war” to describe the political infighting. Given that more than 100,000 people—the vast majority of them Muslims—were slaughtered in the Bosnian War, it’s beyond irresponsible for Bakir to say, as he did recently, that he would “sacrifice peace for the integrity of the state.” Meanwhile, the other significant party of Bosnian Muslims, the Social Democrats, is also “imploding in factional struggle.” This utter breakdown of political representation comes as war veterans protest in the streets for higher benefits. Political collapse is dangerous in any country: Here, it can be fatal.