Bosnian administrator outlines plans

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Bosnia's new international administrator has taken office after being selected by the European Union's foreign ministers. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, a German diplomat, said he hoped he would not require full use of his extensive powers and that the Bosnian authorities would take on the burden of building the country's future.

Mr Schwarz-Schilling told the press that he intended to scale back the overarching powers of his office and allow existing Bosnian political institutions to take control. He said he wanted "to bring the population to the point of taking real ownership of their institutions and not relying on the high representative as a governor to do this job.” Although he refused to comment on the performance of the more assertive departing governor Lord Ashdown, he did complain of "a top-down approach. It is important than I have done ten years of bottom-up work as a mediator. I am a bottom-up person."

Lord Ashdown said in an interview today that, while proud of his achievements in Bosnia, he profoundly regrets that the notorious war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are yet to be arrested.