UK sanctions a marketing agency from BiH for undermining constitution and destabilizing peace

The Government of the United Kingdom applied as of today the regime of sanctions against a marketing agency Mania, based in Bosnia and Herzegovina for its involvement in undermining the Constitution of this country, the British Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina stated on Monday.

The sanctions include an asset freeze and will prevent the Mania marketing agency from doing business with UK companies, underscoring the UK’s firm commitment to safeguarding stability in the Western Balkans.

The UK did not take this decision lightly, but there must be consequences for those politicians or companies who undermine the peace provided by the Dayton Peace Agreement, it is also said.

“The Mania marketing agency profited significantly by organizing and promoting the unconstitutional celebration of January 9. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled in 2015 and again in 2019 that choosing January 9 to celebrate the Day of the Republika Srpska is unconstitutional and discriminatory because it establishes a privileged position of one ethnic community over others. By acting contrary to these decisions, Mania undermined the rule of law, and promoted divisions and fear,” reads the Embassy’s statement.

The sanctions regime of the United Kingdom enables sanctions against those who undermine or threaten the sovereignty, territorial integrity, international prosperity or constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was also stated.

Leo Docherty, the UK minister for Europe, points out that Mania’s reputation is rightly tarnished after it profited from celebrations known to be unlawful and only cause division among the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Our measures taken today should serve as a warning to others, whether they are politicians or companies, whose goal is to destabilize the country. The United Kingdom will continue to support and protect peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region of the Western Balkans,” he said.

Docherty emphasizes that the so-called “Day of Republika Srpska” marks the unilateral declaration of independence by Bosnian Serb leaders in 1992, which preceded the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“President of Republika Srpska entity Milorad Dodik and other persons used this event in previous years as a way to promote the rhetoric of secessionism and violations of the country’s Constitution, to deny the genocide in Srebrenica and glorify war criminals convicted of crimes against humanity. The United Kingdom imposed sanctions on the entity president Dodik, as well as his political associate Željka Cvijanović, in April 2022 for using their functions to work on the de facto secession of Republika Srpska and for using hate speech with the aim of inciting ethnic tensions,” said the Minister of the United Kingdom for Europe.