The United States slapped sanctions on two officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday, saying the men were promoting sectarian agendas that threatened the 1995 Dayton agreement that ended a devastating war.
The US Treasury blacklisted Marinko Cavara, president of the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of two semi-independent entities shaped by the 1995 accord.
It also placed sanctions on Alen Seranic, the minister of health and social welfare of the Serbian Republika Srpska, the second entity comprising the country.
The two were accused of pursuing “ethno-nationalist and political agendas” that threaten democracy and regional stability, according to a Treasury statement.
Washington accused Cavara, 55, of stalling judge nominations to effectively undermine the federation’s constitutional court to “further his and his party’s political interests” at the expense of democracy.
Seranic, 45, was accused of supporting the secession of the Republika Srpska by proposing a powerful medicines body for his region that would undermine state-level health agencies.
The move was said to be in support of Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s shared three-way presidency, who was placed under US sanctions in January for corruption and for plotting Republika Srpska independence from the country.
Cavara and Seranic “continue to pursue ethno-nationalist interests at the expense of the peace, stability, and prosperity of their country,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“These destabilizing activities undermine Bosnia and Herzegovina’s chosen future within the Euro-Atlantic community and prevent the country and its citizens from realizing their full potential,” he said.