Bosnian Government Fails to Offer Aid to Thousands of Catholics Wanting to Return

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Date of incident: July 10, 2012

A significant number of Catholic refugee families plan to come back to Bosnia- Herzegovina, but the Bosnian Government does not offer assistance in rebuilding their houses and restoring infrastructure. 800 families have turned to the Catholic Church for help. Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka declared that it is actually the task of the government to provide support. He complained about the lack of political will on the part of the government and the international community to enable Catholics to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Thousands of Catholic refugees are ready to come back to their country, but their return is problematic since they have only received a minimal fraction of the international aid available. Bishop Franjo Komarica referred to a "well-formulated strategy" aimed at eradicating the Catholic presence in the country. Moreover, individual politicians openly admitted in personal conversations, he said, that they felt Catholics had "no business being in Bosnia." The Catholics of Croatian origin are the oldest ethnic group and they make up approximately 10 percent of the population living in Bosnia. Of the 835,000 Catholics who lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war between 1992 and 1995, only 450,000 have remained. Sources: