Sunday, July 01, 2007


The top international diplomat who runs Bosnia is stepping down. It had been hoped Christian Schwarz-Schilling would be the last foreign figure to take the role, effectively acting as an overlord to the Bosnian, Croat and Serb politicians who run the still bitterly divided country. But then, it had been hoped the man he replaced, Paddy Ashdown, would be the last too. Sadly, not enough progress has been made, and so a Slovak official's now going to do the job.

Although there's no danger of Bosnia slipping back into war, the huge animosity between the sides means it's difficult to see how things can improve enough to let them totally govern themselves. The wounds from the war of the 1990s are still wide open, and the three groups just hate each other too much to work together. The continuing doubts over whether Kosovo will become independent from Serbia simply adds to the somewhat uncertain future in the Balkans. We're now told full power will be returned to politicians in Bosnia by the middle of next year, but don't be surprised if it drifts still further.

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