Dear people of Brčko,
You may have heard that I recently took a decision to “suspend” Supervision as of today, August 31 2012. I wanted to tell you more about this decision and what it means for the people of the District.
As of today, the OHR office in Brcko is closed. No longer will my team or I intervene in affairs in the District, nor will we watch over government sessions and sessions of other bodies. We will not issue binding orders or mediate solutions. We will not step in to correct problems. Although I will still remain as Supervisor with the same authority, I do not expect there will be any need to use it in the future.
This does not mean that we do not see the challenges facing the District. We do. Indeed, I agree with all of you who have told me first-hand that there is too much poverty, unemployment, nepotism, corruption, bureaucracy, and other problems in Brcko. However, the international community believes your institutions have the capacity to take on these challenges on their own. We want democratically-elected Brcanke and Brcaci – not appointed foreigners – to assume full responsibility for governing the District.
Despite the suspension of the Supervision, the international community is not abandoning Brcko. Far from it. You will continue to see representatives of the European Union, OSCE, the U.S., and many others actively engaged in Brcko. Moreover, many safeguards are in place in the event things unfold in a negative way – which of course we hope will not happen. Apart from myself, the High Representative, the Arbitral Tribunal, and the BiH Consitutional Court also have powers to protect the progress achieved Brcko if necessary.
You should rightfully be proud of what you have achieved in Brcko since the end of the war. You have transformed a physically devastated, socially shattered, and militantly segregated community. You made it possible for your neighbors displaced by war to come home. You replaced the lines of confrontation with multiethnic schools, neighborhoods, and institutions. Your courage, decency, and tolerance have changed Brcko tremendously for the better over the last 15 years.
You and your fellow citizens now have one more part to play in order to ensure that the next chapter is as successful as previous ones — first and foremost by demanding that your elected leaders govern honestly, transparently, and in the collective interest of your community. This is the very least that the good people of Brcko deserve.
Thank you for the openness, kindness, and hospitality you have shown me over the last two years. I look forward to seeing many of you again in the future.
Roderick W. Moore