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Sabina Arslanagic

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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About Sabina
Sabina Arslanagic is a journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Egyptians in Bosnia Protest Against Mubarak

01 Feb 2011  |  Balkan Insight
Protesters gathered in front of the Egyptian embassy in Sarajevo, demanding the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, citing issues like unemployment and lack of development in Egypt. The protest lasted over an hour with chants in Arabic and English. Bosnia's Foreign Ministry, with the help of Turkey, is evacuating its citizens from Egypt, providing contact numbers for coordination.

Bosnian Serb Court Dismisses Bosniak Complaint

31 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The Bosnian Serb Constitutional Court ruled that the appointment of Aleksandar Dzombic, a Serb, to a key position did not violate the constitution or the interests of the Bosniak people. The court clarified that the constitution allows no more than two of the six key positions to be filled by representatives of any one constituent people or minority groups, but does not mandate representation from all groups. This decision aligns with the constitutional provisions and the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, which established the governance structure of Bosnia's two entities.

Bosnia Press Review – January 31, 2011

31 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The constitutional court of Republika Srpska will debate a complaint by Bosniak MPs over the appointment of the region’s Prime Minister. The Turkish embassy in Bosnia responded to a claim by Bosnia’s presidency member Nebojsa Radmanovic regarding a cancelled meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, clarifying that the cancellation was due to a delay in talks with Republika Srpska president Milorad Dodik. The Bosnian embassy in Cairo has requested the foreign ministry to evacuate Bosnian citizens from Egypt.

Muslim Fanatic Ordered to Pay Bosnia Croat Victims

28 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The municipal court in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, ordered Topalovic to pay 100,000 euros to the family of his victims, including Marinko Andjelic, who survived the attack. Topalovic, a follower of Wahhabism, was convicted of a hate-motivated murder spree in 2002 and sentenced to 35 years in prison. The court found both Topalovic and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina jointly responsible for the compensation. The Federation plans to appeal the ruling, arguing it cannot be held accountable for crimes committed by individuals. Bosnia is divided into two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.

Three Hurt in Fire at Bosnia Oil Refinery

28 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
Three individuals sustained slight injuries in a fire at Bosnia's Brod oil refinery, which is majority-owned by Russian state oil company Zarubezhneft. The fire was quickly extinguished, and the cause is under investigation. Refinery officials are assessing the situation and will provide further updates.

Bosnia, Albania Celebrate Visa Change With Music

26 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
Around 90 artists from Bosnia and Albania will perform joint concerts in Sarajevo and Tirana to celebrate the EU's decision to lift visa requirements for their citizens. The events aim to foster cultural cooperation between the two countries. The EU's decision, seen as a symbol of freedom, was warmly welcomed in both nations, which have faced travel restrictions for decades.

Bosnia Football Receives Funds as Presidency Question Looms

26 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
FIFA and UEFA have approved four million euros for a modern sports center in Zenica, Bosnia, as the country's soccer federation, NSBiH, faces a deadline to change its ethnically selected presidency to avoid international exile. The decision to fund the center is seen as a goodwill gesture, but Bosnian Serb officials oppose the governance change, fearing it could jeopardize their autonomy. The NSBiH must comply by March 31 or face suspension from international competition and loss of significant funding. UEFA's Theodore Theodoridis emphasized the development project is separate from the governance issue.

Bosnia Press Review – January 26, 2011

26 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
A lawyer for Bosnian citizen Jasmin Rendic protested a Serbian court's decision to extend his client's detention, claiming it violates Serbian law. Bosnia's international administrator, Valentin Inzko, is expected to impose a decision on temporary financing for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the lack of a 2011 budget. Bosnian Serb war veterans threatened to strike if payments to demobilized soldiers are not made by the end of January, planning to block border crossings and main roads in Republika Srpska.

Bosnia Press Review – January 24, 2011

24 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The Clinton Foundation will host a panel discussion in New York on February 9 to mark the 15th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement, featuring notable figures such as Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Bosnia’s tripartite presidency will visit Zagreb to discuss bilateral relations with Croatian leaders. Additionally, Bosnia reported its seventh H1N1 virus-related death, involving a young person with a history of bronchitis.

Bosnia Press Review – January 21, 2011

21 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The European Union has postponed discussions on its future engagement in Bosnia, initially scheduled for January 31, to allow more time for internal consultations. Hasan Sarajlic, a prominent Bosnian businessman, and two friends were found dead in a hunting lodge, likely due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, Bosnian health officials confirmed the death of a man from the H1N1 virus, marking the sixth such fatality in recent months.

Bosnia Press Review – January 20, 2011

20 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The US ambassador to Bosnia, Patrick Moon, endorsed the Social Democratic Party's agenda as a good starting point for government formation, criticizing Serb and Croat parties for dismissing it without consideration. Survivors of the Srebrenica massacre expressed outrage over Serbia's investigation of Bosniaks for alleged war crimes, with accusations of insulting victims. Several Bosnian citizens were evacuated from Tunisia by Serbia's national carrier JAT Airways amid recent unrest.

Bosniaks Win Delay in Formation of Bosnian Serb Gov’t

19 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The Bosniak members of the Council of Peoples in the Bosnian Serb parliament have vetoed the appointment of Aleksandar Dzombic as the region’s prime minister, arguing it violates their community’s vital national interest. The court will issue a ruling within thirty days. The veto is based on the claim that Dzombic's appointment would leave Bosniaks without representation in any of the six key governmental positions, which is against the Republika Srpska constitution. This delay in forming the Republika Srpska government is unusual, as the entity typically establishes its government quickly post-elections. The situation underscores the ongoing complexities in Bosnia's post-war political landscape, shaped by the 1995 Dayton peace agreement.

Bosnia Press Review – January 19, 2011

19 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia's international administrator Valentin Inzko criticized local political leaders for failing to form a governing coalition three months after general elections, calling it a betrayal of voter trust. Serbian prosecutors have begun indicting around 400 Bosniaks for alleged war crimes during the 1992-95 war, including soldiers, officers, and civilian authorities. A middle-aged woman in Banja Luka hospital died from the H1N1 flu virus, marking the first death caused exclusively by the virus in the region.

Bosnia Press Review – January 6, 2010

06 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnian security official Dragan Mektic warned about potential illegal immigration through Bosnia. The Netherlands offered life-long benefits to Bosnians who return home, covering travel expenses and providing a monthly allowance. Bosnian Serb officials accused the international community’s High Representative of bias in suspending a controversial property law.

Bosnia Rows Over Chair of UN Council Debate

06 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
A dispute over who should chair a UN Security Council debate has highlighted ethnic divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnian presidency's decision to appoint Ambassador Ivan Barbalic instead of a higher-ranking official has been criticized by Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj, who claims the decision undermines the country's image. The presidency cited economic reasons, while Alkalaj suggested it was influenced by Serb chairman Nebojsa Radmanovic. The controversy has led to cancellations from several high-profile international participants.

Bosnia: International Envoy Suspends Controversial Law

05 Jan 2011  |  Balkan Insight
The international envoy in Bosnia, Inzko, has suspended a controversial property law adopted by Republika Srpska to prevent legal complications until its legality is reviewed by Bosnia's constitutional court. The law aimed to register state property to Republika Srpska's authorities, a move opposed by Bosniak and Croat officials who believe the property should remain under state control. Republika Srpska officials, including President Milorad Dodik, expressed dissatisfaction with the suspension, arguing that the constitutional court has no jurisdiction over the issue. The Office of the High Representative (OHR), which has significant authority under the Dayton Peace Agreement, has been in conflict with Republika Srpska, which calls for its closure.

Bosnia Press Review – December 30, 2010

30 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Turkish Airlines plans to acquire the remaining shares of Bosnia's BH Airlines early next year. Bosnian police discovered two mutilated bodies linked to a crime group involved in murders, drug smuggling, and a major theft. The parliament of Republika Srpska confirmed a new government led by Aleksandar Dzombic, who emphasized economic priorities.

Sarajevo Summit Ends Without Breakthrough

30 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Serb and Croat parties in Bosnia's capital warned the Social Democrats to attend the next meeting in January to avoid worsening post-election political confusion. The meeting, organized by Bosnia's strongest Serbian and Croatian parties, saw the absence of the Social Democratic Party, which had the best performance in the October 2010 general election. Milorad Dodik of the SNSD and Mladen Bosic of the SDS criticized the SDP's absence, warning it could lead to a period of uncertainty. The SDP's platform, supported by the strongest Bosniak party and two smaller Bosnian Croat parties, was dismissed by Dodik as a compilation of failed reform proposals.

Bosnian Serb Entity Gets New Government

29 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
The Republika Srpska assembly approved Dzombic's new government nearly three months after Bosnia's general elections. Dzombic outlined priorities including improving the business environment, increasing economic activity, ensuring social justice, and pushing Bosnia closer to EU membership. The new government aims for reforms and economic stabilization in 2011, despite anticipating unpopular measures. Bosnia remains divided into two entities, Republika Srpska and the Federation, as per the 1995 Dayton peace agreement.

Bosnia Press Review – December 29, 2010

29 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Slovenian national Milan Granfola was indicted in Bosnia on weapons smuggling charges after being stopped at a border crossing with Croatia. Journalists in Republika Srpska plan to form their own association, separating from the existing one in Sarajevo. The newspaper Nezavisne Novine claims to have evidence that Croatia's INA paid €30,000 to the editor of Bosnian TV magazine 60 minutes, Bakir Hadziomerovic, to halt negative reporting, though the program makers deny these allegations.

Bosnia Vows To Crack Pirate Mentality

27 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia and Herzegovina is taking steps to combat software piracy, highlighted by the indictment of Fahrudin Golos for copyright infringement involving unlicensed Microsoft software. The Business Software Alliance reports significant financial losses due to piracy, while new intellectual property laws aim to align with European standards. Despite skepticism from figures like poet Abdulah Sidran, who faced issues with unpaid royalties, authorities are optimistic about improving enforcement and public awareness. Efforts include establishing advisory bodies and awareness campaigns, with the goal of making copyright violations less tolerable.

Bosnia Press Review – December 27, 2010

27 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnian police seized 20 kilos of skunk cannabis near Foca, arresting suspects after a chase. Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, expressed willingness to sacrifice himself for regional strength and independence from Bosnia-Herzegovina, advocating for ethnic territories with regional cooperation. The World Health Organization estimates that one in ten Bosnians suffers from PTSD, with increasing symptoms due to high unemployment.

Row Over Bosnia Cardinal’s Residence Ends

24 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia's Bosniak-Croat entity awarded a publicly-owned apartment to the family of the late Fadil Smajlovic, accused of spying for pre-war Communist authorities, in exchange for relinquishing their claim to part of Archbishop Vinko Puljic's residence. This decision ended a controversy sparked by a Sarajevo court ruling that reinstated the Smajlovics as owners of a flat within the Cardinal's residence. The case highlighted unresolved issues of property restitution from the Yugoslav Communist era, with accusations of espionage and the use of eavesdropping equipment by the Smajlovic family.

Bosnia Press Review – December 23, 2010

23 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
The distribution of farming grants in the Federation of BiH is under scrutiny due to beneficiaries with criminal backgrounds. Bosnian and Serbian war crimes prosecutors agreed to form a working group for cooperation in war-crimes prosecution. Police are searching for former Bosnian Serb police commander Dusan Jankovic, sentenced to 27 years for crimes against humanity.

Bosnia Artists Outraged at Sentencing of Iran Filmmakers

22 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
The Association of Bosnian filmmakers condemned the Iranian authorities for sentencing directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasulov to six years in jail on charges of working against the regime. Panahi, an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, was also banned from making films and writing scripts for 20 years. The Association's statement highlighted the violation of basic human rights and the negative impact on Iranian culture and civilization.

Bosnia Press Review – December 21, 2010

21 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Fifteen Bosnians were denied entry at the Slovenian border due to lack of new biometric passports, despite the recent implementation of visa-free travel to most EU states. Bread prices in Bosnia's Croat-Bosniak region rose by 15-20% due to increased wheat prices on international markets. Milorad Dodik, president of Republika Srpska, announced that the region's new government will be formed by the end of December.

Bosnian Croat Party Threatens to “Block” State

20 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Bosnia, backed by two smaller Croat parties and the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), has formed a coalition to establish a new government for Bosnia's Croat-Bosniak federation. This coalition could potentially sideline the two strongest Bosnian Croat parties, the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croat Democratic Union 1990 (HDZ 1990). In response, HDZ leader Dragan Covic has threatened to block the state if his party is excluded from the government. The SDP criticized Covic's threat, emphasizing their willingness to include other parties in their platform. The HDZ, traditionally supported by Bosnian Croats, is particularly aggrieved by the SDP's decision to have Zeljko Komsic run for a second term as the Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, a move they claim undermines the legitimacy of Croat representation.

Bosnia Urged To Shake Up Uncompetitive Economy

17 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia's economic environment is criticized for being complex and unattractive to investors, with high payroll taxes and bureaucratic red tape cited as major impediments. The World Bank and Foreign Investors Council urge Bosnian authorities to simplify administrative processes and address technical issues to improve competitiveness. Despite numerous development strategies, there has been little progress, leading to high unemployment and frustration among business leaders.

Six Bosnians Indicted for Terrorism Over Deadly Attack

17 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Three men, Haris Causevic, Adnan Haracici, and Naser Palislamovic, were charged with terrorism aimed at destabilizing Bosnia-Herzegovina's political and social structures. Causevic faces additional charges for possessing hacking tools. The Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the State Agency for Identification Documents, Registers and Data Exchange, and the parliament assembly of Republika Srpska were identified as potential hacking targets. All six men remain in custody, with prosecutors citing risks of repeated offenses, flight, or witness tampering. The indicted men are reportedly followers of Wahhabism, a strict interpretation of Islam, prompting increased police action against Wahhabi groups in Bosnia.

Bosnia Press Review – December 17, 2010

17 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Around 1,400 Sarajevans have filed lawsuits against Republika Srpska for war-time suffering, with more expected by year-end, totaling claims of around half a billion euros. Bosnia’s Refugee Alliance reports 650,000 returnees since the 1992-95 war, lower than the official figure of over 1 million. The EU is exploring ways for Bosnia to apply for EU candidate status by mid-next year, aiming for acceptance in 2012, amid concerns over Bosnia's lag in the EU accession process.

Bosnia Peacebroker Richard Holbrooke Dies

14 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Richard Holbrooke, a top US diplomat known for brokering the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the Bosnian War, died at George Washington University Hospital. At the time of his death, he was the US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Holbrooke's career included significant roles such as special envoy to Bosnia, Kosovo, and Cyprus, and America's chief representative to the United Nations. His death has elicited praise from many American officials, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who highlighted his contributions to shaping US foreign policy.

Bosnia to Celebrate Lifting of EU Visa Regime

14 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia is set to celebrate the lifting of EU visa requirements with a central square event in Sarajevo featuring popular singers. Starting Wednesday, Bosnian citizens can travel to 28 European nations using biometric passports. A group of around sixty people, mainly youth civil society members, will tour four European cities with Bosnian officials. The initiative aims to showcase the benefits of European integration. Despite concerns about potential economic migration, officials are confident that the visa-free travel will not lead to systematic abuses. The celebration has been welcomed by young Bosnians, although many are financially unable to travel. Centrotrans, Bosnia's main bus company, is offering discounted tickets to European destinations.

Bosnia Press Review – December 13, 2010

13 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia will host an open-air party in Sarajevo to celebrate the lifting of Schengen visa requirements. Bosnian and Serbian security ministers Sadik Ahmetovic and Ivica Dadic will meet in Sarajevo to sign a mutual assistance agreement on natural and other disasters. EU foreign ministers will discuss Bosnia's situation and the EU's role in the country during a meeting in Brussels.

Bosnia Press Review – December 10, 2010

10 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
A Transparency International survey reveals that 59 percent of Bosnians believe corruption has increased over the past three years, with political parties seen as the most affected institutions. Bosnia's major breweries have hired lawyers to combat high beer imports, which constitute 60 percent of the country's consumption. Croatia's former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader fled the country following a warrant for his arrest and the stripping of his parliamentary immunity in connection to a corruption investigation.

Bosnia Press Review – December 8, 2010

08 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Over 400,000 Bosnians have received biometric passports ahead of the EU's decision to lift visa requirements. Bosnian and Serbian armed forces' chiefs held their first bilateral meeting, praising military cooperation. The closure of the Office of the High Representative remains a condition for Bosnia's EU candidate status, despite its omission in the latest EU progress report.

Rival Bosnia Parties Agree to Search for Compromise

06 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), the two main winners of Bosnia's October general elections, have agreed to form a joint working group to identify shared priorities for a potential future central government. This move aims to address real-life problems and seek compromises on complex political issues. The meeting between SDP president Zlatko Lagumdzija and SNSD president Milorad Dodik marks a significant shift from their previous confrontational stance. Analysts view this development as a positive step towards coalition building and political stability in Bosnia, which has been divided into two highly independent entities since the 1995 Dayton peace agreement.

Bosnia: Three People Killed in Landslide

05 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
A landslide in the Tuzla suburb of Crvene Njive, triggered by heavy rain, resulted in the death of three family members and the evacuation of several houses. Over 3,000 people were evacuated from Bijeljina, Visegrad, and Zvornik due to severe flooding, with a state of emergency declared and the army deployed to assist.

Bosnia Leaders To Thrash Out Coalition Deal

03 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
A delegation from the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) will meet with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Sarajevo to discuss forming a coalition government. The SNSD, led by Milorad Dodik, and the SDP, led by Zlatko Lagumdzija, have differing political agendas, with the SNSD focusing on Serb interests and the SDP advocating for a unified Bosnia. The meeting aims to establish priorities for the new government, including EU and NATO membership. The 1995 Dayton peace agreement, which created two autonomous entities within Bosnia, complicates the formation of a central government.

Bosnia, Croatia to Build Interstate Bridge

02 Dec 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Bosnia and Croatia will jointly build a 760-meter interstate bridge at their northern border as part of the pan-European corridor 5c. The project, described as strategic by Bosnian Transport Minister Rudo Vidovic, will be equally financed by both countries with secured loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. The bridge is expected to be operational by the end of 2012, with both countries also agreeing to upgrade access roads to highway standards.

Bosnia Press Review – November 26. 2010

Bosnia Press Review – November 23, 2010

23 Nov 2010  |  Balkan Insight
Two men were sentenced by a Serbian court for crimes committed during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, including the torture and killing of 700 Bosniak civilians. Bosniak presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic is on a three-day visit to Turkey to meet with top officials. The Alliance of Independent Social Democrats has selected its candidate for the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, hoping for appointment by President Milorad Dodik.

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