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5 Sequencing As the reader may have noticed, there is a significant difference in the timeline of international intervention in Mostar and Brčko. As part of the terms of the Washington Agreement it was decided that Mostar would be temporarily administered by the EUAM, which formally commenced operations in the city in July 1994—even as fighting continued elsewhere in the country—until December 1996, when it turned over political oversight to OHR. Conversely the OHR supervisory regime in Brčko was not established until April 1997, over a year after the war ended. Prior to this, the most significant international presence in the Brčko area were American SFOR troops patrolling the IEBL and its demilitarized ZOS, which split the prewar municipality in half. Peacebuilding in the aftermath of war is a difficult task, requiring patience , time, and sufficient resources for social relations to stabilize and new institutions to take hold and function properly. Thus all else being equal—which of course it isn’t—one would expect Mostar to be further along in this process given the head start it had over Brčko. This has not Sequencing 103 turned out to be the case. One reason for this apparent anomaly concerns the sequencing of peacebuilding reforms, in particular political and economic liberalization. In Mostar international officials followed the liberal peacebuilding model of rapid democratization and market reforms. Liberalization prior to institutionalization was a boon to nationalists, locking them in positions of political power and providing a veneer of democratic legitimacy, while further cementing the results of ethnic cleansing throughout the city. In Brčko the temporal ordering was reversed as multiple supervisors fought off outside pressure to speed up privatization and hold early elections. This made it more difficult for nationalist parties to manipulate the privatization process to their benefit, facilitated the implementation of more thorough and durable institutional reforms, and gave alternative political forces time to develop bases of support prior to the first District elections in 2004. The Failure of Early Elections in Mostar Mostar was not just the site of the earliest international peacebuilding efforts in Bosnia with the establishment of the EUAM in 1994, it also led the way in political liberalization, holding the country’s first postwar election in June 1996. At the time the city was plagued by political and social instability : Bosniak families were still being forcefully evicted from apartments in West Mostar on a weekly basis; EUAM chief Hans Koschnick had been violently attacked in February following the release of his blueprint for a new city administration; and the resulting compromise Interim Statute—which was formally introduced at the end of that month—had not even begun to be implemented. Despite these problems the EU stayed firm to the goal of a quick election, which it viewed as a necessary step prior to closure of the mission. The EUAM’s director of reconstruction, John Yarwood, claims that the organization thought it best to hold the election before implementing a new city statute.1 However it is unclear whether this was Koschnick’s idea or whether he was under pressure from the EU Council Presidency to proceed in this manner. The United States was also keen that the municipal election in Mostar be held as scheduled lest delays there provide any impetus for delaying the general election in Bosnia scheduled for September 1996, less than two months before U.S. presidential election. 104 Chapter 5 At the February 1996 emergency conference in Rome the EU agreed to extend its mission in Mostar for six months (until December 1996) but insisted that the election go forward at the end of May as planned.2 The framework for the election, which had been agreed on at Dayton, stipulated that “any person age eighteen or older who is identified in the 1991 census as a permanent resident of the municipality of Mostar and who still has his or her permanent residence in the City of Mostar at the time of the elections shall be eligible to vote for and be elected to the City Council and the City-Municipal Councils.”3 This was a somewhat odd decision as it meant that those who had been ethnically cleansed from Mostar during the war—roughly over half of the city’s prewar population—would be denied the right to vote. Hence it was not much of a surprise that only weeks before the election was to take place Bosniak parties threatened a boycott if...


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