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One tweet comes to show reconciliation has a long way to go in BiH

One tweet, just three words long, has caused, what might be the biggest crisis in the relations between Serbs and Bosniaks and between Republika Srpska and Federation BiH. In fact, these three words will, in the worst case scenario, take reconciliation efforts in BiH at least 15 years back.

Everything began when, last week, somebody dug out a three-year old tweet by Saša Trivić, co-owner of the “Krajina Klas” company with the famous bakery brand “Manja” from Banja Luka. The bakery is very successful and from a small business has expanded into one that has shops in both entities. Five of them were recently opened in BiH capital, Sarajevo, where the majority of citizens are Bosniaks. For a Republika Srpska based company, it was very well received in Federation BiH.

Then the tweet comes into play.

Trivić is famous on Twitter for his opinions on employers-employees relations, business policy and many other issues. Twitter friends and community in BiH respect his opinions even when published on social networks. Also, his employees have a regular salary, social insurance and he pays all the taxes.

Three years ago, someone on Twitter, on January 9, Republika Srpska Day, praised the former Republika Srpska Army commander, Ratko Mladić, who was convicted by Hague Tribunal for war crimes, to which Trivić commented with just three words: “One and only” without any indication of what he thinks about Mladić or January 9.

Just a few minutes after the screenshot of his old tweet appeared on that social network, the chase was triggered. Bosniaks commented that Trivić is Četnik, a Serb nationalist, that he supports war criminals and war crimes against Bosniaks and even that the name of the bakery “Manja” is shortened name of mount “Manjača”, near Banja Luka, where during the war was situated one of the concentration camps for non-Serbs.

Trivić tried to explain, engaged in a discussion with “haters” but to no avail. Sarajevo citizens were called upon to boycott the “Manja” bakery. The next day, in front of one store, the word “Četnik” was written on the floor, employees were verbally attacked and severely insulted as if they worked for the enemy of the Bosniaks.

Trivić, again on Twitter, said that he is afraid that the situation will escalate and that it will go too far. Police guards the entrances of all “Manja” stores in Sarajevo and employees lock the door after a customer enter. In fact, the number of customers is smaller than ever.

Serb Democratic Party condemned the witch hunt on Trivić and the “Manja” bakery, while the “Krajina Klas” company called on the protection of Trivić and his family. The latest nonsense publicized on Twitter, on the matter, is that Trivić’s father is Janko Trivić, the Serb Army officer responsible for war crime in which more than 200 Bosniaks were killed.

“The name of Mr Trivić’s father is Ranko and he has no connection with the war crimes”, said the press release from the company.

At the moment, “the hunt” on Trivić and his company is still ongoing. The level of hate showed in this case did not go unnoticed in Republika Srpska and has resulted in deepening the gap created more than two decades ago.

Obviously, in some heads, the war is still not over./ibna

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