Bosnia fires security minister over February unrest

Bosnia fires security minister over February unrest
Bosnian protestors use whistles as argue with police, after they were not allowed to block traffic in the most busy street in front of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency building, in Sarajevo, on March 7, 2014

SARAJEVO - Bosnia's Security Minister was dismissed on Tuesday for failing to curb violence during protests over graft and unemployment in February, the worst unrest since the end of the country's 1992-95 war.

The initiative to fire Fahrudin Radoncic over the violence, in which several hundred people were injured, most of them police, was launched in the national parliament by the main Muslim Bosniak party SDA. The violence has since subsided, though small protests continue.

Protests against graft and factory closures spread across Bosnia in February, highlighting resentment over the political bickering that has stifled governance and economic development since the war ended. Rioters set fire to government buildings in major cities, including the state presidency in Sarajevo.

After a war in which some 100,000 people were killed, a US-brokered peace deal split Bosnia into two highly autonomous regions - the Serb-dominated Serb Republic and the Federation, populated mainly by Bosniaks and Croats.

The two regions are joined by a weak central authority, while the Federation itself is split into ten cantons, creating a highly-decentralised and unwieldy system frequently paralysed by ethnic bickering.

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