- Karadzic, Radovan
Ka·ra·džić (käʹrə-jĭch), Radovan. Born 1945.
Bosnian Serb leader who engaged in civil war with the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. An extreme Serbian nationalist, his practice of ethnic cleansing led to his 1995 indictment as a war criminal by the International War Crimes Tribunal.
* * *born June 19, 1945, Petnijca, Yugos.Bosnian Serb politician.He trained as a psychiatrist and also wrote poetry and children's books. In 1990 he helped found the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1992, when the Bosnian Serbs declared an independent state, he became its president. With the support of Yugoslav Pres. Slobodan Milošević and with Bosnian Serb military leader Gen. Ratko Mladic, Karadžić undertook a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia to purge it of non-Serbian peoples. In 1995 he was indicted by a UN war crimes tribunal. He was pressured into signing the Dayton peace accords and forced to resign as state president and party head in 1996. However, he continued to influence the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia and Herzegovina from a mountain hideaway outside Sarajevo. Despite attempts to arrest him, he was able to evade capture through the 1990s and into the early 21st century.
* * *▪ 1997On July 19, 1996, it was announced that Radovan Karadzic would step down as president of the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska and as head of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A year earlier, on July 25, and again on Nov. 16, 1995, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, held in The Hague, had indicted him for crimes that included genocide, murder, rape, and other mistreatment of civilians. As the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Karadzic was held to be responsible for the "ethnic cleansing" of Serb-held areas of Bosnia, during which tens of thousands of Muslims and other non-Serbs had been killed and driven from their homes.Karadzic was born on June 19, 1945, in a mountain village in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro. His father was a member of the Chetniks, the Serbs who fought both the Nazis (along with their Croatian collaborators) and the Partisans, the communist guerrillas led by Josip Broz Tito. In 1960, at age 15, Karadzic moved to Sarajevo, where he later studied medicine. A physician and psychiatrist, he also published poetry and books for children.In 1985 Karadzic was imprisoned for 11 months for fraud involving the use of state funds. In 1990 he helped found the Serbian Democratic Party and became its president. Two years later, when the Bosnian Serbs declared an independent state allied with Yugoslavia, Karadzic became its president. With the support of Slobodan Milosevic, president of Serbia, and with Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military leader who was also indicted for war crimes, Karadzic began a campaign to take control of parts of the country and to purge the areas of non-Serb peoples. Throughout the period from 1992 to 1995, he alternately pursued ruthless military actions and expressed interest in peace efforts advanced by Western leaders. At the end of 1995, after Milosevic had closed the borders with Bosnia and apparently withdrawn support from the Bosnian Serbs, Karadzic was pressured into signing accords reached in talks near Dayton, Ohio, that provided for a division of the country into Bosnian-Croat and Serb sections but with a unified presidency.The Dayton Accords specified that no one indicted for war crimes could participate in the elections scheduled for Sept. 14, 1996; thus, Karadzic was required to relinquish his government and party positions. He was replaced in both by deputies who shared his political views, and although he was prohibited from making appearances in public or by media, it was by no means certain that he would not continue to influence events. NATO troops, charged with enforcing the Dayton Accords, had the authority to arrest him, but they did not take such action against him, and Karadzic continued to live in Pale, the Bosnian Serb headquarters. (ROBERT RAUCH)
* * *born June 19, 1945, Šavnik, Yugos. [now in Montenegro]physician, author, and politician who was leader (1990–96) of the Serbian Democratic Party in Bosnia and president (1992–95) of the autonomous Republika Srpska, a self-proclaimed Serb republic within Bosnia. In 1995 he was indicted for committing war crimes during the civil war that followed Bosnia and Herzegovina's split from Yugoslavia in 1992.Karadžić's father was a member of the Chetniks (Chetnik), the Serbs who during World War II fought both the Nazis (along with their Croatian collaborators) and the Partisans, the communist guerrillas led by Josip Broz Tito (Tito, Josip Broz). Karadžić studied medicine in Sarajevo and became a physician and a psychiatrist; he also published poetry and books for children. In 1985 Karadžić was imprisoned for 11 months for fraud involving the use of state funds. In 1990 he helped found the Serbian Democratic Party, a group dedicated to thwarting Croatian parties in Bosnia, and served as its first leader.In 1992 Karadžić became president of a self-declared autonomous Bosnian Serb republic that allied itself with the rump of the Yugoslav federation (then consisting only of Serbia and Montenegro). With the support of Serbian Pres. Slobodan Miloševic (Milošević, Slobodan) and the Bosnian Serb military leader Gen. Ratko Mladic, Karadžić began a campaign to take control of parts of Bosnia and to purge the areas of non-Serb peoples. Throughout the period from 1992 to 1995, he alternately pursued ruthless military actions and expressed interest in peace efforts advanced by Western leaders. On July 25 and again on Nov. 16, 1995, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), held in The Hague, indicted him for crimes that included genocide, murder, rape, and other mistreatment of civilians. As the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Karadžić was held responsible for the “ ethnic cleansing” of Serb-held areas of Bosnia, during which tens of thousands of Bosniacs (Muslims) and Croats were killed or driven from their homes in what has been called the most atrocious instance of genocide committed in Europe since the close of World War II. The most heinous act attributed to Karadžić was the ordering of the murder of more than 7,000 Bosniacs in the town of Srebrenica in July 1995.At the end of 1995, after Miloševic had closed Yugoslavia's borders with Bosnia and apparently withdrawn support from the Bosnian Serbs, Karadžić was pressured into signing the Dayton Accords. This peace agreement provided for a division of Bosnia and Herzegovina into two autonomous sections—a Croat-Bosniac entity (the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) and a Bosnian Serb republic (the Republika Srpska)—but with a unified presidency. The accords specified that no one indicted for war crimes could participate in the elections scheduled for Sept. 14, 1996; thus, Karadžić was required to relinquish his government and party positions. Troops from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), charged with enforcing the accords, had the authority to arrest Karadžić but took no action against him.Robert F. RauchKaradžić went into hiding in 1997, with reports over the ensuing years placing him in, among other places, Serbia, eastern Bosnia, Russia, and Montenegro. Despite his status as an internationally maligned war criminal, he managed to publish a novel, Cudesna hronika noći (“Miraculous Chronicles of the Night”; 2004), and still enjoyed the support of some Serb nationalists. On July 21, 2008, nearly 13 years after being indicted by the ICTY, he was arrested near Belgrade, Serb., by Serbian authorities; shortly thereafter he was transferred to The Hague to await trial. It was speculated that Serbia's desire to gain entrance into the European Union played a role in its redoubled efforts to capture the fugitive. At the time of the arrest, it was revealed that Karadžić had disguised himself and used an alias, Dragan Dabić, in order to practice alternative medicine openly in Belgrade.Ed.
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