Assessing the Potential for Renewed Ethnic Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Atlantic Initiative Democratization Policy Council recently published a piece titled "Assessing the Potential for Renewed Ethnic Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Security Risk Analysis". In this assessment, co-authors Vlado Azinovic, Kurt Bassuener, and Bodo Weber address the factors that could lead to not only a heightened amount of inter-ethnic tension, but also to renewed overt violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Throughout the assessment, the authors agree that there are multiple variables leading scholars and researchers to believe that a rise in tension and violence is possible.

The authors also remark on EUFOR, which has shrunk tremendously since 2007.  There is a worry that the lack of troops on the ground will cause EUFOR to be unable to remain a deterrent for violence and if violence were to occur, EUFOR would not be able to quell violent tendencies within the country.  The authors conclude that deterring potential violence is the top priority; therefore, re-strengthening EUFOR's presence through the addition of troops and thoughtful placement of these troops in potential hotspots like Brcko and Mostar as well in areas with larger amounts of minority return is very important. Finally, the authors emphasize the importance of insisting that the country not be allowed to fall apart. Agreeing to disagree within groups like the Peace Implementation Council and the EU is no longer an acceptable outcome; if this continues to occur, the ability for these groups to help maintain the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina will shrink drastically.  The authors conclude that "restored, credible deterrence" is the only way that the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to progress forward and avoid violent conflict.
To view the entire document please click on: A Security Risk Analysis