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07 June 2022

The way to Dayton: the military conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina peaceful settlement process in 1992-1995

Sumy Historical and Archival Journal
The way to Dayton: the military conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina peaceful settlement process in 1992-1995

The paper examines the preconditions for the conclusion, significance and consequences of the implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Four plans for peace achievement are considered, in which the International Community had consistently sought to resolve the Bosnian conflict in 1992-1995. The process of concluding a unique international document that not only put an end to the bloody interethnic confrontation and established new foundations for relations between the three Balkan countries, but defined the principles of the constitutional order of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina is examined. The authors analyze the ambiguous scientific and political assessments of the Dayton Agreement, ranging from unequivocal approval to sharp criticism, and the reasons for the success of the Dayton Process, including joining the U.S. negotiation process and ensuring compliance with NATO’s commitment to violators. The risks inherent in the Dayton Agreement in the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina are also identified. The problem of the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the basis of the Dayton Agreement is vital for the post-Yugoslav space. Despite the declared principle of equality of citizens, in fact, political human rights in the country directly depend on ethnicity, and public authorities are based on the principle of national representation. The sovereignty and independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina raise a number of issues, given their control by International bodies. An analysis of historical experience convincingly shows that the Dayton Accords can only be seen as a temporary mechanism for resolving the crisis and easing tensions, which has made it possible to achieve peace, end ethnic discord and lay the foundations for a democratic system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recognizing the effectiveness of the Dayton Agreement, the authors argue that some of its provisions do not comply with generally accepted principles of International Law, in particular, in terms of the territorial organization of the state and the formation of public authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This approach does not comply with the principle of equality of human rights, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other beliefs, national or social origin, property status, birth or other circumstances. It is also undeniable that the Dayton Accords did not resolve the interethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The paper also seeks to identify ways to address the Bosnian crisis in the current situation in Ukraine, given the annexation of Crimea and the protracted military conflict in Donbas, and to determine the admissibility and potential limits of external intervention in military conflicts.

Source: Zavhorodnia V.M., Naumov A.S. (2020) “The way to Dayton”: the military conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina peaceful settlement process in 1992-1995. Sumy historical and archival journal. №XXXV: 72-83

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