The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
English - L'Anglais
Dutch - Nederlands
French - Français
German - Deutsch
International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES)
in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East
and the Balkans. Prof. Mirko Pejanović, PhD, member of the
war-time Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(1992-1996), dean at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the
Sarajevo University, President of the Serb Civic Council - Movement
for Equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina and member of the Council of
the IFIMES International Institute, in his article entitled
"KARADŽIĆ FLIES TO THE HAGUE WHILE BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA GOES TO
THE EU" presents his views of the apprehension of Radovan
Karadžić and the European path of Bosnia and Herzegovina. His
article> is published in
Mirko Pejanović, PhD,
●member of the war-time Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and
●dean at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the Sarajevo
●President of the Serb Civic Council - Movement for Equality in
Bosnia and Herzegovina and
●member of the Council of the IFIMES International Institute
FLIES TO THE HAGUE WHILE BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA GOES TO THE EU
Radovan Karadžić was apprehended hale and hearty in
Belgrade on 22 July 2008, after 13 years of hiding from justice.
The news spread around the world with lightning speed, to the
satisfaction of all those who believe in justice and truth.
Especially it meant good news for the citizens of Bosnia and
Herzegovina and for all of its nations who suffered during the war
years 1992-1995 due to Karadžić's politics of hatred and ethnic
cleansing of civilians from their homes where they had lived for
centuries. But most of all it brightened up the citizens who lost
their fathers, brothers, mothers and children in Karadžić's death
camps and during the genocide committed at Srebrenica in summer
1995. Mass graves of Bosniaks in Republika Srpska and the graves of
massacred Srebrenica’s are the work of those who followed and
executed Radovan Karadžić's politics. Where does this politics of
atrocities come from? What are its main ideas? Which institutions
and political forces of those institutions enabled the realisation
of the politics of SDS and its leader Radovan Karadžić? Only history
can provide the answers to those questions after sufficient time
will have passed. However, the present insights and analyses can
contribute to the formation of the objective truth on the patterns,
course and ending of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Karadžić's trial in the Hague Tribunal will definitely set
the basis for revealing the previously unknown aspects and truths
about the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the aspect of
relations between the three national ruling parties in Bosnia and
Herzegovina (SDA, SDS and HDZ) on the eve of the war in 1990 and
1991, and the aspect of relations with the European states and the
In order to answer the fundamental question of where this
politics of atrocities appearing and personalising in Radovan
Karadžić's character comes from, we should return to the historical
context of its origin. Radovan Karadžić's ideas entered the
political scene with the introduction of the political pluralism,
i.e. the multiparty system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the
singleparty systems and socialism in general were in decline in
Europe at that time, it was not difficult for the new parties to
gain power and take over the ruling position in the parliament.
Accelerated democratic changes in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia,
Montenegro and Macedonia also caught Bosnia and Herzegovina which
was in comparison to other republic of the former Yugoslav
federation late in the introduction of the multiparty system.
The formation of the multiparty system in Bosnia and
Herzegovina in 1990 coincided with the beginning of the
Serbo-Croatian conflict on the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
Tuđman and Milošević were the ones who initiated the conflicts and
negotiated on the remapping of the former Yugoslav federation and
the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The fear that the conflicts
and the war would spread from Croatia and the concerns about what
would happen to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the future formed an
appropriate psychological and historical atmosphere in the society,
providing grounds for forming political parties on ethnic basis.
Thus three national political par<><>ties were formed during the short
period from March to August 1990: SDA – Party of Democratic Action
(May 1990.), SDS – Serbian Democratic Party (July 1990. ) and HDZ –
Croatian Democratic Union (August 1990). These three parties
received a very high support from the electorate, winning as much as
84% of all votes of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Consequently, the opposition which was formed of the civic parties
was marginalised. The three national parties self-proclaimed
themselves as the representatives of the interests of their
respective nations: SDS representing the Serbs, HDZ the Croats and
SDA the Bosniaks (the Muslim nation at that time). Thus the
articulation or the formation of political interests was brought
down to expressing party interests as being the national interests.
The interests of the party were presented as the interests of the
nation. However, soon after having divided the power in the
government and the ministries at the beginning of 1991, the three
winning national parties were faced with the inevitable question on
their agenda, i.e. the question of political status of the state
and political future of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of the
disintegration process which the former Socialist Federative
Republic of Yugoslavia was undergoing at that time. At the same time
it should be stressed that during the 1990 election campaign all the
three national parties skilfully and intentionally avoided
determining their programme solutions on the political future of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, knowing it was the point of controversy
which might cause them to lose many votes. They knew it was
attractive for the voters to hear about new citizens' freedoms and
about the progress which would resemble that of Switzerland. However,
the complex historical developments led to the adoption of political
decisions on the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the National
Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the second half of 1991. The
conflicts between the ruling parties on the political status of the
state of Bosnia and Herzegovina culminated in October 1991 when the
disagreements between SDS, SDA and HDZ on the political future of
the country became obvious.
At that moment Karadžić and his SDS revealed their political
concept which was based on the following ideas: there should be no
independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosniak nation
should disappear, the Serbian nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
should spiritually, culturally and politically unite into one
Serbian state, the interests of the Serbian nation are to be
represented by Slobodan Milošević. These ideas formed the basis of
Karadžić's and SDS politics.
At that time Karadžić addressed the Assembly of Bosnia and
Herzegovina with the known threat that Bosniak nation would
disappear. For this politics to become the reality it had to be
formed into a political movement with the established institutions
within which it would be realised. Thus, in October and November
1991 the Serbian National Assembly was formed in Bosnia and
Herzegovina comprising the Serbian deputies elected in 1990, except
for the Serbian deputies from the Social-Democratic party of BiH who
rejected to be a part of it. This was followed by the decision on
the formation of the Republic of the Serbian Nation (Republika srpska) with its own government and president, which was adopted in
January and February 1992. Karadžić was appointed president of
Republika Srpska. In April and May 1992 the Army and the Television
of Republika Srpska (RS) were established, completing the
institutional aspect of the political entity called the Serbian
Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina which was being formed at the
time when Bosnia and Herzegovina was given the prefix "former". Thus
only one, though the most important aspect for the creation of the
Serbian national entity remained unresolved: the territorial aspect.
The formation of the territory of the political entity of the
Serbian nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was defined in May 1992 at
the Serbian National Assembly in Banja Luka where it was decided to
separate the Serbian nation from the Bosniaks and the Croats. Plans
were made to expel or extinguish Bosniaks and Croats from 70% of the
territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina which were controlled by the RS
Army at that time. The realisation of such a project meant
committing a crime. Why? First of all, because such a project could
not be carried out on an ethnically mixed territory without using
force in order to expatriate and kill the civilians, and this was a
clear act of atrocity. On the basis of the agreement made with
Milošević at the "Karadjordjevo meeting" Tuđman left the Posavina
region to the Serbs. At the very beginning of the war the Bosniaks
in Bosanska krajina, east Herzegovina and especially in east Bosnia
were exposed to expatriation, deportation to concentration camps and
to death. In April and May 1992 Bosniaks were expelled from the
regions of Zvornik and Vlasenica. The SDA leaders in Sarajevo lacked
the appropriate organisation and international support to respond
and save the Bosniak nation in those regions.
On the basis of the above politics and assisted by
Milošević's regime and the military forces which Serbia sent to
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Radovan Karadžić managed to put 70% of the
territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina under his control until 1992.
At the beginning of the Geneva negotiations which were launched in
September 1992 Karadžić's negotiating team proposed to Vance-Owen
and the Peace Conference presidency only one issue of common
interest which could be included in the eventual peace solution for
Bosnia and Herzegovina: the issue of electricity supply. Clearly,
all the electricity sources were located throughout the territory of
Bosnia and Herzegovina and everybody needed that energy.
Radovan Karadžić based his politics on the presumption of
the centuries-long hatred between Serbs and Bosniaks and on the
non-recognition of the Bosniak ethnic identity. He continued the
Second World War politics of Draža Mihajlović who was known for his
submission to Hitler's politics. It is a known fact that during the
Second World War Draža Mihajlović's military units carried out a
massacre against Muslims in east Bosnia.
The practical application of the above politics during the
war in Bosnia and Herzegovina led to mass violations of human rights,
resulting in the expatriation of over two million civilians from
their homes. The dreadful consequences of the war roused the
democratic public in the European states and the USA which resulted
in the formation of the Contact Group for finding the peace solution
for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The solution was found under the USA
leadership together with the leading world forces in the Contact
Group: the Russian Federation, Germany, France and Great Britain.
The basis for the solution was the two-entity structure of Bosnia
and Herzegovina. A compromise was made according to which the
constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina was based on the Dayton Peace
Agreement and Republika Srpska was recognised as an entity within
the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The institutions of Bosnia and
Herzegovina were also formed according to the Dayton Peace Agreement
and comprised the Parliament, the Government, the Central Bank and
the Constitutional Court. The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina
received international guarantees of sovereignty, integrity and
international legal personality. The international peace and civil
forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina ensure the implementation of the
Dayton Peace agreement. At the historical level and in the context
of the major world changes at the end of the 20th century, the
implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement represents the building
of peace, the development of state institutions and the accession of
Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Euro-Atlantic integration. This leads
to the point where the historical internalisation of the Bosnian
issue should end in the conclusion of the historical process of
establishing a sovereign state and developing Bosnia and Herzegovina
into a self-sustainable and democratic state within the European
Bringing Radovan Karadžić to justice represents an important
step forward for the political future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
judgement against Radovan Karadžić for the crimes he committed would
also mean the judgement against his politics of delusion and against
his goals which made him perpetrate those crimes. The politics of
Radovan Karadžić are turning into history while Bosnia and
Herzegovina and its democratic pro-European forces are entering the
EU integration and the European future. The politics based on force
and crime, ethnic hatred and divisions can never again be repeated
in Bosnia and Herzegovina which will become a constituent part of
the democratic world where the democratic standards of the free and
integrated Europe are respected.
Ljubljana, 04 August 2008
International Institute for Middle-East
and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) – Ljubljana
Zijad Bećirović, M.Sc.
The article was in the abbreviated form published in the "Dnevni
Avaz" daily newspaper on 2 August 2008 in Sarajevo.
It’s Time to Test The Karadžić Myth
The man who believed he was more a myth than reality is about to be
humbled by a very human court.
By Aleksandar Hemon
In Sarajevo, Radovan Karadžić lived in a building across from my
high school. I only found that out recently, as I don’t remember
ever seeing him in those days. Granted, this was a while ago—I
attended Gimnazija Ognjen Prica from 1979 to 1983, but now it seems
to me that I should have noticed him: the huge head, the gray mane,
the stern jaw, the deep dimple, the eyes that seemed incapable of
producing a non-murderous gaze.
Not remembering him, however, is hardly surprising, as it is only
with the after-knowledge of his crimes that I began thinking I might
have been able to detect the karadzicness in Karadžić. The fact of
the matter is that Karadžić, at that time and right up until before
the war, was just an inconspicuous denizen of the city he would set
out to destroy— indistinguishable from his environment. In his
brilliant essay on Karadžić (“Stocking Hat” in Sarajevo Blues)
Semezdin Mehmedinovic writes about thumbing through a 1991/1992
Sarajevo phone book and finding 21 entries under the family name
Karadžić. In addition to Radovan, there were “10 Muslims, 9 Serbs
and 1 Croat.”
The first time I heard Karadžić’s name was when he became the (huge)
head of the SDS. As far as I was concerned, he came out of nowhere.
Later, I learned that he was a psychiatrist and a poet, one of those
who spent a lot of time in the kafana, drinking, gossiping and
reciting Russian poets, thus reaffirming the alleged existence of
the Slavic Soul. I was familiar with some of the other Founding SDS
Fathers: Nikola Koljevic, Slavko Leovac and Vojislav Maksimovic, all
of whom were my ex-professors; Aleksa Buha, a philosophy professor
at the Faculty of Philosophy, which I had graduated from; Momcilo
Krajisnik, who had worked with my mother at one point; Velibor
Ostojic, a speech coach at Radio-Sarajevo, where I had worked, to
whom I had been sent in order to fix my mumbling.
But now they were planets in a different universe, all now revolving
around Karadžić. In their public appearances they were in stark
contrast with Karadžić and his mountain-esque crassness: the
professors all looked like professors—intellectual and somewhat out
of place in the limelight, while Karadžić reveled in the attention.
He was the star of Serbdom, making grand gestures while speaking,
making grander pronouncements of the impeding anti-Serb gloom and
doom. He projected the image of comfortable ruthlessness, of someone
who does not care what others might think, which is always
fascinating and frightening to Bosnians, ever mindful of what the
I remember going to an SDS press conference in 1991. Karadžić was at
the centre of the desk facing the journalists, his long arms spread
like wings, his hands resting on the edges, as if he were ready to
lift the desk and hurl it at the leery press. Next to him was
Koljevic: small, mousy, behind a large, goggle-like pair of glasses,
clearly a supporting actor. Karadžić spoke sternly, unflinchingly,
uninterested in charming the press, as if he were doing us all a
favour by talking to us at all—all but few chosen press members were
in his mind proven enemies of the Serbian people. As usual, he
claimed that there was some kind of a threat to Serbdom, and if they
didn’t react with determination the Serbs would get “fucked.” He did
not apologize for using the profane word in public; indeed, he
claimed that it was a legitimate word, often used by the Serbian
people. His stubborn crassness suggested his resolve not to mince
words, not to participate in all that fuddy-duddying, because there
was a job to be done, the job of saving Serbdom at all cost.
It was the same forceful, blatant determination that he projected
early in 1992, in the infamous, chilling speech to the Bosnian
parliament convened to legislate the independence referendum.
Exuding the same ruthless ease, he warned the parliament that the
Muslim people risked extermination if they voted for independence.
He appeared ready to work on their perishing, and his demeanour
hinted that he didn’t mind the work at all. He behaved as if he were
issuing a fair warning; he was generously trying to help. That was
the first moment, I think, when he assumed the role of the master of
life and death of an entire people; it was the commencement of the
genocide. He could forgo genocide, he was suggesting, despite all
the preparations, if the Muslims were willing to forgo independence,
but he was none the less prepared to declare, much like Njegos’s
Vladika Danilo, “let it be what cannot be” and unleash the holocaust.
It was visible that he enjoyed that power. No wonder the Interpol
arrest warrant listed “flamboyant behaviour” as his only
It is a mistake to look for psychological continuity in the mind of
a war criminal, to look for genocidal proclivities in his or her
pre-war life. War and genocide create identities—a war criminal is a
different person before and during wartime. Nevertheless, the
identities of people like Milosevic and Mladic had been determined
by the structures they were part of before the war. The Party taught
Milosevic to detect, recruit, use and dispose of allies—one can
imagine Milosevic, if the wars of Yugoslavia had not happened,
toiling at Party congresses to form useful alliances, quietly
amassing wealth and power. Mladic would have continued to be a stern
Army officer, finding outlets for his murderous needs within the
military structure (which is easy for me to imagine for I had seen
him soldiering as the commander of the Stip garrison, where I
suffered as a conscript from 1983-84). Karadžić differed from them.
He fully existed only when organising the genocide, he was invisible
and irrelevant before it, and has been invisible ever since.
Karadžić’s star shone only against the dark skies of a vast crime.
This is why Karadžić is still popular among the Serbs in the
Republika Srpska and Serbia proper: like a mythological being, he
came out of nowhere to do what needed to be done—wipe out the
“Turks” and create an eternal, heavenly kingdom, completing the
mythological job started hundreds of years ago in the Battle of
Kosovo. He did not care what the world might say—for the world is
but a minor distraction in the eternal Serbian struggle to survive
and live as the celestial people; he was ever willing to sacrifice
even his moral well being for the people.
While Milosevic’s mythical aura waned because of his self-serving
mishandling of the Serbian National Project and while Mladic’s aura
never got too excessive because of his perceived military demeanour,
Karadžić’s aura was enhanced by his withdrawal into the woodsy,
mountainous background after he abandoned all his political
positions in 1996. Like a hajduk, the mythological Serbian outlaw,
he is a lone wolf preserving Serbdom from perishing, surviving in
the face of a great enemy—the “Turks” and the world itself--willing
to come again out of his heroic obscurity if necessary.
Karadžić in the The Hague is a remedy to the Serbian nationalist
mythology--Scheveningen is not a mythological space, but a prison.
There, Karadžić would be in the limelight that would dispel the
darkness of the nationalist mythology. He would be at the centre of
a legal process, a trial based on documents and testimonies, which
would demythologize his actions, and dismantle his criminal universe.
The man who thought he was bigger than the world, who believed he
was entitled to dispensing divine retributions on behalf of his
people, needs to be humbled by the human court of the world. It is
time the myth of Karadžić was replaced by the truth of his crimes.
Aleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian fiction writer living in the US. He is
author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere man and The Lazarus
Project. Balkan Insight is BIRN`s online publication.
Last Picture of Karadžić
Datum: 24. jul 2008 0:58
27 July 1995 - Fall of Zepa and disappearance of Avdo Palic
As Hatidza Mehmedovic remarked the arrest of Radovan Karadžić has
opened up the prospect that justice can be achieved for the victims
of Srebrenica, Sarajevo and so many other places where people paid
the price for Karadžić's ambitions. What it doesn't do, at least
yet, is challenge the status of Republika Srpska, Karadžić's
creation and the concrete outcome of all the blood-shedding. RS is
still to a large extent an ethnically cleansed safe haven for
untried war criminals.
I'm afraid the message that follows is asking you to engage with the
leading political figure in RS, on behalf of the widow of another
victim of Karadžić and Mladic.
27 July is the thirteenth anniversary of the fall of an Eastern
safe area that rarely gets a mention in the media. Thirteen years
Zepa, the second UN-protected town in the Drina Valley, fell to
Serb forces. Thanks in part to the negotiating skills of the
the enclave, Avdo Palic, most of the inhabitants of Zepa were unlike
of Srebrenica safely evacuated under the protection of Ukrainian UN
However Avdo Palic himself "disappeared". He is thought to have been
for some time as a prisoner of the Bosnian Serbs but it is now
certain that he is dead. His widow Esma Palic has been battling for
to find out from the authorities in Republika Srpska what actually
to her husband and where his body is buried.
Phivan Wright, of the 23rd Houston Amnesty International Group in
who has been a committed supporter of Mrs Palic as well as a
Hasan's campaign to secure justice for his family, has sent me a
about the next step in the Group's campaign on behlaf of Mrs Palic.
(Background and information about the campaign so far are at
www.whereisavdopalic.com) In an attempt to speed up the progress of
enquiries and achieve a conclusion to the investigation Phivan is
for letters / e-mails to be sent to Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister of
Republika Srpska, to complete the invetsiagation into Avdo Palic's
disappearnce so that those responsible can be brought to justice.
Please try and write as soon as possible and in any case in time for
anniversary of Avdo Palic's disappearance, 27 July. And please pass
anyone you think would be interested. The Houston Amnesty Group's
about Avdo Palic (link below) will give you some of the background.
There's a statement by Amnesty International about Karadžić's arrest,
link to an article that quotes Esma Palic commenting on the arrest
Phivan's message follows:
"After a year-long hiatus, we (my Amnesty International group in
are resuming work on the case of Avdo Palic since there has been no
significant progress in the investigation in the last twelve months.
those of you who want to refresh your memory, go to www.whereisavdopalic.com (Note: this is a new URL).
When you last heard, the Republika Srspka (RS) Prime Minister had
Esma Palic, Avdo's wife, that he would speed up the work of the
appointed to investigate Avdo's "disappearance". Exhumations were
out at Rasadnika, near Rogatica, and were witnessed by Mrs Palic. To
six bodies have been exhumed, but none of those on which DNA
been completed has been identified as that of Avdo's. For the others,
results of the analysis are still to be announced. Amnesty
Internaternational issued a statement in August 2007 expressing
the lack of progress. This month marks the 13th anniversary of
"disappearance". The search for his body must be speeded up and the
investigation concluded without any further delay.
Attached is a sample letter to the RS Prime Minister. You will also
the letter below in case you cannot open the attachment. If you want
use email instead of snail mail, Prime Minister Dodik's email
address is email@example.com and Minister of Interior Cadjo's email address
Please send a blind copy to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org so I can keep
of the number of letters sent. I'd be grateful if you could do it
or before July 27th, the 13th anniversary of Avdo's "disappearance".
those of you who maintain mailing lists or are members of a group,
you for forwarding to your lists/groups.
The sample letter was drafted with Amnesty International members and
with limited time in mind. If you are not an AI member and/or want
your own wording, that's great. If you are writing in an Amnesty
capacity, thank you for staying close to the spirit and tone of the
I'm on vacation from this Thursday till the end of the month, and
have intermittent access to email, but I will make every effort to
to you promptly should you have any questions.
Thank you very much!
Phivan's sample letter to Dodik (email@example.com):
Vuka Karadžića 4
78000 Banja Luka
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dear Prime Minister,
As a member of Amnesty International, I am concerned about the
impunity for "disappearances" and other violations of international
rights and humanitarian law committed during the war in BiH, and the
continuing lack of justice and redress for the victims of these
and their relatives.
I am writing about Avdo Palic who "disappeared" from the UNPROFOR
Zepa in 1995. This month marks the 13th anniversary of his "disappearance".
In 2001, the Human Rights Chamber instructed the RS government to
a full investigation into his fate, with a view to bringing the
perpetrators to justice, and to make all such information available
wife, Esma Palic. It is high time that those reasonably suspected of
participation in Avdo Palic's "disappearance" are brought to justice.
search for his body must be speeded up and successfully concluded
According to Article 6 of the Declaration on the Protection of All
from Enforced Disappearance, "Any person alleged to have perpetrated
of enforced disappearance in a particular state shall be brought
competent civil authorities of that State for the purpose of
and "All States should take any lawful and appropriate action
them to bring all persons presumed responsible for an act of
disappearance, found to be within their jurisdiction or under their
control, to justice".
Furthermore, the Human Rights Chamber of BiH has ruled that the
suffering of the "disappeared" amounts to a violation of their right
be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment
Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human
Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).
Thank you for keeping in mind the continued suffering of Avdo
family, and for your attention to this urgent matter. I look forward
hearing from you about any progress in this investigation.
Minister of the Interior Stanislav Cadjo
Desanke Maksimovic 4
78000 Banja Luka
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thanks for your support for Mrs Palic.
Owen Beith - Translations FR/SP/PT>EN
70 Sewardstone Road, London E2 9JG
+44 (0) 20 8981 9879
Alternative e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (but ring and
Read "Under the UN Flag" by Hasan Nuhanovic - how the Dutch state
United Nations abandoned the people of Srebrenica to genocide in
Disguised Karadžić 'Gave Spirituality
war crimes fugitives Radovan Karadžić had been hiding in
Belgrade under a false identity as a doctor and gave lectures on
spirituality, Balkan Insight has learnt.
"Karadžić was hiding in New Belgrade under a false identity...He
was using name of Dragan Dabic," Vukcevic said, adding that the
world's most wanted war crimes fugitive "practiced alternative
medicine in a private office in Belgrade."
"Karadžić was moving freely in Belgrade. His false identity was
so convincing that no one was able to identify him, including
his landlord and employer," Vukcevic said.
Balkan Insight has learn that a Belgrade magazine "Healthy Life"
ran a series of stories signed by Dragan David Dabic, a doctor
The man under the same name lectured on healthy living in
Belgrade's Ada Ciganlija on May 23.
The employees of the magazine told Balkan Insight that the man
shown in the most recent photographed Karadžić as displayed by
the Serbian prosecutor, looks absolutely like the contributor.
"I met him in September at a lecture about spirituality. A
friend introduced us and he seemed like a very nice man who
knows about spirituality... with his long beard and long hair he
doesn't resemble Karadžić at all. I would have never guessed,"
Goran Kojic, the editor in chief of the magazine told Balkan
"He wrote without a fee... as Dragan Dabic spiritual healer."
Balkan Insight has also obtained a photograph (above) posted on
says 'Dr. Dragan Dabic', a neuro-psychiatrist held a lecture in
Novi Sad on April 12.
Karadžić, who went under the name DD David, apparently had a website
http://www.psy-help-energy.com/Index.html where he
advertised his energy healing treatment for everything ranging from
impotence, through to asthma, multiple sclerosis and autism. His
method involved tempering with what he called Human Quantum Energy
according to a practice he named the David Wellbeing Program.
Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said that
security forces arrested the former Bosnian Serb leader in a
carefully planned operation, and under minimal security risk for
police and the fugitive.
The operation which eventually led to Karadžić's arrest started
in the afternoon.
Karadžić was arrested in a operation which initially targeted a
group of aides to former Bosnian Serbs military chief Ratko
Mladic but Serbian security forces seemed surprised when they
stumbled across the other top fugitive.
However, Karadžić’s attorney, Sveta Vujacic, said her client had
been arrested on Friday when he was on board a bus. "He just
said that these people showed him a police badge and than he was
taken to some place and kept in a room. And that is absolutely
against the law what they did."
The charges against Karadžić, last amended in May 2000, include
genocide, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, and
other crimes committed against Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and
other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the
Read more on Karadžić's arrest here:
Last Picture of Karadžić
Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in
Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East
and the Balkans. Jelko Kacin, member of the European
Parliament (EP), member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the
EP, and rapporteur of the EP for Serbia, took part in the
commemoration on the anniversary of the massacre and burial of the
victims of genocide in Srebrenica, on the 11th of July 2008. He
presents his views and impressions on the event, and on new
opportunities for dialogue and understanding, in his article
»Srebrenica – 13 Years After«, which is published here in its
Jelko Kacin, MEP,
Member of the European Parliament (LDS/ALDE/ADLE)
Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the EP and
Rapporteur of the EP for Serbia
SREBRENICA – 13 YEARS AFTER
On Friday, the eleventh of July, I took part in the
commemoration on the anniversary of the massacre and burial of 308
Bosniak victims of the Srebrenica genocide that had been identified
in the past year. At the cemetery in Potočari, tens of thousands of
people gathered and remembered the thousands of innocent victims,
and accompanied the remains of the victims on their last journey.
Before the burial, many acclaimed figures, mostly politicians, gave
a speech, headed by the presiding Chair of the Presidency of Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Haris Silajdžić, the American Ambassador Charles
English, and the high representative of the international community
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajčák, and the vice-president
of the European Parliament (EP) Diana Wallis, together with whom I
represented the European Parliament. As many others, we laid down
flowers and reflected on Srebrenica today. My contemplations are
dedicated to the living that struggle with poverty and dream of a
Although the name of the city, linked to silver mining, points to a
bright past, the present is not nearly as promising.
On Friday, the President of the Government of Republika srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, who could have contributed greatly (and
decisively) to the soothing and placating of spirits with his
presence, was not to be found in Potočari. The next day, however, he
was able to come to Srebrenica and take part in a Serbian gathering
in the Cultural House in the center of town. The unfortunate
Bosniaks had thirteen years ago found themselves, in great numbers,
at the wrong time and in the wrong place, in a protected area, and
were cruelly disposed of in the aggressive action of »the liberation
of Srebrenica from the Turks«, as the then-commanding Ratko Mladić
said coldly, and added a frightening conclusion: »»Now the time has
come for us Serbs to remind the Turks of what they had been doing to
us for centuries…« …«.
The Bosniaks, of course, never had been Turks, since they are part
of the Slavic population, which in Bosnia and Herzegovina adheres to
three faiths: orthodox christianity, roman catholicism, and islam.
Whereas the situation in Sandžak in Serbia and in the north of
Montenegro is completely different regarding the peaceful
co-existence of different ethnicities, relations in Bosnia and
Herzegovina are still very tense. How could they be any different?
The best illustration of the current situation, in my opinion, is a
thought expressed by a young Bosniak during our conversations with
the youth of Srebrenica. »I find it impossible to accept the claim
that I live in Republika Srpska, because I live in Bosnia and
Herzegovina – but my Serbian neighbor and friend, he cannot accept
Bosnia and Herzegovina, because he lives in Republika Srpska.«
Serbia's President, Boris Tadić, publicly condemns the crimes,
acknowledges the genocide and apologizes, but his colleagues from
Republika Srpska are far from this. The statement that Ratko Mladić
and Radovan Karadžić are most likely (obviously) in Serbia, made by
the British Ambassador days after this are therefore important and
reflect the evident two-facedness of the countries in the region
regarding their arrest and extradition to the Hague. »More light,
more action!«, one could paraphrase Goethe. Without full
co-operation of all countries in the region with the Hague Tribunal,
there will be no settling down and no European future. Is it not
perverse that in the previous government of Koštunica, the only
non-Serb, a Bosniak, Rasim Ljajić, was the only one responsible for
co-operating with The Hague? These countries, and in particular the
less developed areas, populated by Bosniaks, are in dire need of
development aid and programs for rural development, which can be
guaranteed by the EU. Thus the EU is both the means for, as well as
the direction to, the future. The only question is – when?
On Tuesday, mothers from Srebrenica and Žepe in Nova Kasaba
laid down flowers at the place where Serbs, disguised as members of
the UN Peacekeeping forces, tricked Bosniak refugees to gather at a
football court by the river. On the road from Srebrenica, they were
joined by the most exhausted and despaired, hoping for an end to
agony and for safety, by those who were unable to travel over the
river Jadar to the hills and onwards to Tuzla. From there, two
thousand boys and men were taken to the killing fields.
In the town Kravice, in the neighboring municipality of Bratunac,
only a few kilometers away from Potočari, by the building of the
former Agricultural Co-Operative, where Bosniaks from Srebrenica
were cruelly tortured, they were not allowed to lay down their
flowers. The local inhabitants were opposed to this, and so the
mothers and widows were stopped by a cordon of RS police.
As long as anywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, laying down flowers
in the memory of those killed in war will be a problem, there will
be problems there, as well as in neighboring countries and EU member
Diana and I decided to suggest to the President's Conference,
which prepares and coordinates the work of the EP, to invite the
youth of Srebrenica, from both communities, to Brussels. We hope
that days of living together, on the road to as well as in the EU,
within the framework of EU institutions, will enable them to
discover the history, the mistakes, and the revelations of Western
Europe. Perhaps this will create new opportunities for dialogue and
understanding. Measures – and much effort – are needed to create
trust where there is none. Who could do this, if not the youth?
Photo: Diana Walis (left) and Jelko Kacin (right) in Srebrenica,
Ljubljana, 20th July 2008
International Institute for Middle-East
and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) – Ljubljana
Bakhtyar Aljaf and Zijad Becirovic, M.Sc.
Envoy 'Must Stop Bosnian Serb Separatism'
09 July 2008 Sarajevo
- Haris Silajdzic - The Bosniak leader has urged
Bosnia’s top international envoy to “stop and eliminate separatist
activities” in the Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska.
“At this moment I expect you to undertake concrete measures which
would be aimed at removing the effects of such activities. Otherwise,
the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina would continue, which
would damage the peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
the entire region,” said Bosniak member of the state tripartite
presidency, Haris Silajdzic, in an open letter sent on Wednesday to
the Office of the High Representative.
This call reflects growing political and ethnic tensions in Bosnia
as the October local elections near. Silajdzic, together with
Republika Srpska Premier Milorad Dodik, have emerged as the two most
vocal politicians, which have marked the local political scene ever
since the pre-election campaign ahead of the 2006 general elections.
In the letter, obtained by the Balkan Insight, Silajdzic complained
that “secessionist activities” in Republika Srpska, never stopped,
which has “completely undone the positive atmosphere”, created after
Bosnia signed a European Union pre-membership deal known as the
Stabilisation and Association Agreement on June 16.
The lengthy letter listed a number of issues which according to
Silajdzic show continued Bosnian Serb “separatist” tendencies.
The list of issues includes the lobbying and diplomatic activities
of Republika Srpska officials which according to Silajdzic comes
under the state and its foreign relations; the recently proposed new
flag and emblem of Republika Srpska, which Silajdzic says shows
b bias towards Bosnian Serbs; the recently launched idea of
forming a Republika Srpska football team violates the state’s
jurisdiction over sport representation.
In an attempt to prevent these “secessionist” activities, Silajdzic
said he and other officials will soon raise a number of complaints
at Bosnia’s Constitutional Court. Yet he also demanded the top
international envoy Miroslav Lajcak to fulfill his main mission and
ensure proper implementation of the Dayton peace accord and protect
“peace and stability” in the country.
The Speaker of the Republika Srpska Assembly, Igor Radojicic, of
Dodik's Party of Independent Social Democrats, told media that
Silajdzic’s statement “once again puts into motion, nationalist
“This is a continuation of an extreme nationalist politics, which
will escalate in the coming period,” Radojicic said, adding that
Silajdzic’s letter is aimed at “provoking conflict” to ensure that
the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia prolongs its mandate
in the country.
Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in
Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East
and the Balkans. Dr. Robert J. Donia, President of the
Council of the International Institute IFIMES and Visiting Professor
at the University of Michigan, in his article “Creeping Crisis:
The Serbian Government’s Plan for Kosovo” presents his view on
the current situation in Serbia. His article is here published in
Dr. Robert J. Donia
President of the Council of the International Institute IFIMES and
Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan
CREEPING CRISIS: THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT’S PLAN FOR KOSOVO
Kosovo Serbs escalated an already-simmering crisis in
Kosovo on June 28 by convening the Assembly of the Association of
Municipalities of Kosovo and Metohija in Northern Mitrovica.
Formation of the assembly was publicly announced two weeks in
advance by Slobodan Samardžic, the Serbian government’s Minister for
Kosovo and Metohija. Samardžic has emerged as the chief promoter of
a Serbian plan to chip away at the sovereignty of the
newly-independent Republic of Kosovo through repeated local
challenges to its authority. As we noted in our analysis of June 3,
2008 (“Elusive Finality: Dispatch from Newly-Independent Kosovo,”
assembly, and the local councils of Serbs in various Serb-inhabited
areas of Kosovo, are modeled closely upon Serbian municipalities and
assemblies created by lieutenants of the late President Slobodan
Milosevic; in 1990-91 in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those
assemblies and their derivative organs were the primary perpetrators
of Serb takeovers and the ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs at the
beginning of the wars in those countries in 1991-92.
June 28 marked the end of a five-month post-independence
phase in Kosovo’s history, during which all major actors made their
positions clear. Following their declaration of independence on
February 17, 2008, Kosovo’s Albanian leaders expeditiously
implemented the Ahtisaari Plan, the short name for the
“Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement,” written
by UN negotiator Martti Ahtisaari and submitted to the UN Secretary
General on March 26, 2007. Kosovo’s Albanian leaders had
reluctantly accepted the plan as a condition of Kosovo’s
independence from Serbia during failed efforts to reach agreement
with Serbian government negotiators. Meeting a deadline specified
in the Ahtisaari Plan, delegates in the Kosovo Assembly adopted a
Constitution and passed 41 legislative acts to implement all
provisions mandated in the plan. The new laws were signed by
Kosovo’s president on June 16, the day after independence took
effect. In short, Kosovo’s Albanian leaders have done everything
required of them by the Ahtisaari Plan and maintained restraint in
the face of rising Serb provocations.
On the other hand, ultra-nationalist Serbs, headed by
officials of selected ministries in the Republic of Serbia, have
undertaken various acts to undermine the government of Kosovo.
After nine years of relatively benign financial support and control
over Serb institutions in Kosovo, Belgrade’s officials have changed
course in the aftermath of independence and adopted strategies
modeled closely on those of the late President Milosevic. They have
ordered Serb policemen in the integrated Kosovo Police Service and
Serb employees of Kosovo’s municipalities south of the Ibar to walk
off the job. Although the Ahtisaari Plan provided for Serbia’s
continued involvement in Kosovo and awarded wide-ranging autonomy to
Kosovo’s Serbs, Belgrade-based leaders have isolated and in some
cases threatened those who cooperated in establishing the
plan-mandated institutions. Serbian government ministries have
staged violent incidents in Belgrade (February 21), Northern
Mitrovica (March 17), and the village of Borivojce in Kosovo’s
multiethnic Kamenica municipality (June 26).
The Serb plan, in common with those of Milosevic’s
lieutenants in 1991 and 1992, aims to contest the jurisdiction of
the existing state and to incite conflict between conciliatory
Albanians and Serbs, in this case those Serbs who would accept the
generous terms of the Ahtisaari Plan and work within the framework
of the Kosovo Constitution. The plan is also intended to provoke
Albanians and international security forces to violence in order to
discredit them internationally. The Serbian campaign is such a
perfect imitation of Milosevic strategies as to make its activities
risibly predictable. Serbs following Belgrade’s instructions are
likely to locate their provocations in multiethnic areas or along
ethnic boundary lines. On June 26, they did just that, as Serbs
gathered to protest construction of a mosque in Kamenica
municipality, an exemplary multiethnic municipality with a
conciliatory mayor. International security forces can anticipate
that Serbs will “spontaneously” erect roadblocks or barriers
obstructing free movement of Albanians on major communication routes
through Serbian settlements. Various local Serb municipal assemblies
and the Assembly of the Association of Serbian Municipalities,
illegally constituted in defiance of UNMIK and the laws of Kosovo,
may also be expected to issue repeated proclamations and create Serb
institutions to rival those specified in the Ahtisaari Plan. The
Serb nationalists have thus far refrained from establishing a
separate Serb police force, contenting themselves instead with
infiltrating officers of Serbia’s Ministry of the Interior into the
Kosovo Police Service. Any effort to establish a separate Serb
police force would be a direct provocation that would invite
intervention from KFOR.
The Serbian-government-led actions constitute a clear and
present danger not only to safety and security in Kosovo but to
stability throughout the region. The conduct of Serbian government
ministries and parties in Kosovo is an egregious violation of
behavior expected of an aspiring member of the European Union; it
would be so even under guidelines for relations between constituent
polities in Yugoslavia before Milosevic’s dubious legal changes of
1989 and 1990. As leaders of the US, the European Union, and NATO
prepare to hail the imminent formation of a “pro-European”
government in Serbia, they should also attend to the grave threat to
stability that Serbia is incrementally implementing in Kosovo.
Ljubljana, 08 July 2008
International Institute for Middle-East
and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) - Ljubljana
Bakhtyar Aljaf and Zijad Becirovic, M.Sc.