Bosnian Serbs Proclaim Banja Luka Their Capital
March 11, 2009
BANJA LUKA (AFP)--Bosnian Serb deputies have declared the northwestern city of Banja Luka as capital of their entity, an official said Wednesday.
Seventy-two members of the 83-seat parliament of Republika Srpska voted late Tuesday to support changes to the entity's constitution, which previously referred to Sarajevo as its capital, a parliamentary source said.
Muslim deputies said they wouldn't accept the changes in the House of Peoples, an assembly where decisions have to be backed by each of Bosnia's constituent ethnic groups.
However, a final ruling rests with the entity's constitutional court.
Banja Luka has served as the Bosnian Serb administrative center since 1998 when its institutions were moved there from the wartime Serb stronghold of Pale, near Sarajevo.
Under a peace deal which ended its 1992-1995 war, Bosnia was split into two semi-independent entities - the Serbs' Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. The two are linked by weak central bodies.