First Romani police officers in Bosnia-Herzegovina

03 April 1999

On January 11, 1999, three Roma became police officers in Tuzla-Podrinje Canton in north-eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina. Six Roma applied for positions in the police force as early as February 1998. Their applications initially met with no response at all, although on June 15 a group of non-Roma began work as police officers. After Sae Roma, a Romani organisation based in Tuzla, requested comment on the situation of Romani candidates, officials of the cantonal Ministry of Interior declared that their documents had been misplaced. Finally, three of the applicants, Mr Ibro Beganović and Mr Sabrija Mujić from Tuzla, and Mr Edin Suljić from Lukavac, were accepted and started working in January. Roma from the Tuzla region state that the political atmosphere in their canton is better than in other parts of the country, as it is the only region not governed by nationalist parties. The Tuzla-Podrinje Canton presently has the highest concentration of Roma in Bosnia-Herzegovina; many of the Roma in the canton were forcibly displaced from areas that now belong to the Serb-held region of Republika Srpska.



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