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Bosnia's Muslims and Croats against end of Brcko supervision

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(SARAJEVO) - Bosnia's Muslim and Croat politicians on Wednesday opposed an end of international supervision of a northwestern town called Brcko, saying it could lead to a dispute of its neutral status by the Serb community.

The parliament of Muslim-Croat Federation adopted a declaration saying that the conditions for ending the supervision have not been met.

It accused the Bosnian Serb authorities of failing to prove "their commitment to respect all obligations towards Brcko district," a neutral territory since 1999 in the ethnically-divided country.

In March 2000, the town of Brcko was proclaimed a neutral district by an international arbitrage tribunal in 1999. Bosnian Serbs who had controlled the area since 1992 therefore lost their authority over the district.

The town has since been placed under the authority of Bosnia's central government, and is run by a multi-ethnic administration, overseen by a top international representative.

But the Muslims and Croat politicians noted that the Serb authorities have failed to annul a declaration that rejected the international arbitration's decision to declare the district neutral.

They want a "national law over the town of Brcko" to be adopted before international supervision ends.

The law should regulate a number of issues, among them, Brcko's representation in the central state institutions, its financing and electricity supply.

The brutal inter-ethnic war that left 100,000 people dead split Bosnia into two semi-autonomous entities linked by weak central institutions.


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