Withdraws Award For Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic

Sarajevo City Council has cancelled its earlier decision to award honorary citizenship to Milan Bandic, the Mayor of Zagreb, after he said Bosnia should have three entities, not two.

The City Council of Sarajevo has withdrawn its decision, made in February, to make Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic an honorary citizen of the Bosnian capital owing to his recent statements backing a third, Croatian entity for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Deputy Sarajevo Mayor Aljosa Campara said he hoped the decision would not harm relations between Sarajevo and Zagreb.

“I believe this situation should not have arisen, but we were forced to react,” he said. “We are very sensitive to standpoints that affect our territorial integrity because not even we have said how our country should be organized,” he added, referring to ongoing constitutional discussions on the country’s territorial set-up.

“We want to make a European state, especially the City of Sarajevo, because it deserves it,” Campara continued.

Bandic caused offence among Bosnia’s Bosniaks – one of the country’s three main communities – when he recently said in an interview that he hoped Bosnia and Herzegovina would soon be comprised of three entities.

Currently, Bosnia comprises two entities, the mainly Serbian Republika Srpska and the mainly Bosniak and Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A number of Bosnian Croats politicians and organisations argue that Croats should have an entity of their own, on the grounds that they are a marginalised community in the Federation.

In Zagreb on Wednesday, Bandic said the withdrawal of his award in Sarajevo would not provoke him to comment.

“I am an honorary citizen [already] of Kiseljak and Srebrenica and the citizens chose me for that,” Bandic said.

He was referring to an award received in 2008 from Kiseljak in central Bosnia, and another award in 2009 from the town council in Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia.