Procedure Launched for Dismissal of Croatian Ambassador to Bosnia

By 12 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 12, 2019 - Procedure has been launched to dismiss Ivan Del Vechio as Croatian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs confirmed to Hina on Friday, two days after he attended a ceremony marking the controversial Republika Srpska Day in Banja Luka.

Ambassador Del Vechio has been recalled to Zagreb for consultations and a procedure for his dismissal has been launched, the Ministry said.

Republika Srpska, the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, celebrates 9 January as the day on which the Republic of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina was declared in 1992 by a self-styled Assembly of the Serb People led by Radovan Karadžić and Momcilo Krajisnik, who were later convicted as war criminals by a UN tribunal in The Hague.

The Republika Srpska Day was declared unconstitutional by the Bosnian Constitutional Court in 2015.

Bosnian Serb general Slavko Lisica, who had been sentenced by a Croatian court to 15 years in prison for war crimes committed in Dalmatia during the 1991-1995 war, was posthumously decorated at Wednesday's ceremony.

Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić said on Thursday that Croatia had never participated in those ceremonies and that Del Vechio had made a wrong decision.

The Croatian ministry said on Thursday that Zagreb had not been aware of the ambassador's plan to attend the event and that he had been recalled for consultations for that reason. It condemned the decoration of the Bosnian Serb general.

The ceremony was ignored by almost all representatives of the diplomatic corps in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More news on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found in our Politics section.