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Dayton Agreement Signing

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The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended in 1995 with a peace agreement negotiated in Dayton, Ohio. It founded two state “entities” and the Serbian Republic and the Bosnian Federation, which joined a weak central government. Srebrenica, where about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred a few months earlier, is in the Serbian Republic. With the signing of the 165-side document, signed on November 21 after three weeks of ongoing negotiations in Dayton, Ohio, the clock begins with a series of delays for troop movements and the release of prisoners. Donald Horowitz, one of the leading experts in ethnic conflict studies, points out that it is often true that the majority population is more dissatisfied with ethnic power-sharing systems than minorities, at least in Northern Ireland, Belgium and Bosnia. It is not surprising that minorities appreciate the guarantees against majority rules, which are formally anchored in Dayton-style agreements. The Bosnian Serbs were originally opposed to Dayton`s constitutional structures – but they themselves have now managed to support them. In all ethnic groups, a minority – only 28% – say they voted definitively or probably against Dayton in 2013. Bosnian Serbs say seven times more often that they would vote in favour of the agreement than against it. They withdrew for another dispute with Dirty Dick, the US chief negotiator Richard Holbrooke, to set aside flags and chairs and restore some scrap metal to the euro`s honours. The 21-day negotiations in Dayton may have reached a Bosnian peace agreement, but they have opened a wide gap between the United States and the Europeans in the contact group. When European negotiators entered Room B-52 of the (Bob) Hope Hotel to prepare for the solemn signing of the Bosnian peace talks in Dayton this week, they watched the scene and exploded. Academics` views on the Dayton Accords are very divided.

Was it an ingenious advance whose framework was to be used in other contemporary conflicts, especially in the Middle East? Or was it a useful but deeply flawed instrument, whose problems include minimal cooperation between its units and an excessively decentralized system of governance, co-responsible for the erosion of the rule of law? Today, some international media use the Dayton Accords as synonyms for inertia, neglect and despair. For these reasons, most experts expect Bosnians to now oppose the agreement. Dayton Agreement, a peace agreement reached on 21 November 1995 by Presidents Von Bosnian, Croatia and Serbia to end the war in Bosnia and outline a general framework agreement for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It retained Bosnia as a single state, consisting of two parts, the Bosnian-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republic, sarajevo remaining the undivided capital.

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