Bosnian Serb Truckers Block Border Crossings

Dozens of truck drivers from Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska lined up vehicles and blocked border crossings and customs posts near the towns of Gradiska, Samac, Bijeljina and Zvornik, in the north and east of the country, in a protest against new licensing regulations.

The protest lasted throughout Thursday until Bosnia's state government in coordination with the governments of both Bosnian entities agreed to postpone application of the disputed regulations to April.

The new regulation, which became valid at the beginning of 2015, obliges truckers from all parts of Bosnia to obtain training that is available only in the southern, ethnic Croat, town of Siroki Brijeg, and then obtain licenses issued only in the capital, Sarajevo.

After discussing the issue with entity governments in Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosnia's Council of Ministers decided on Thursday to extend the validity of the old licenses issued by entity ministries of transport to April 15.

Truckers' representatives said that the new system inflicted additional costs on their work and complicated and delayed the process of obtaining new licenses.

They threatened to reinstate their blockades if and when governments try again to switch to the new licenses.


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