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Thursday, July 24, 2008 

No Disguising Karadzic's Role In Brutal Ethnic Cleansing

The Regina Leader-Post has an article by Richard Holbrooke today that recollects his meeting and negotiations with Radovan Karadizic during the war in Bosnia. Holbrooke is an American diploma who served under President Bill Clinton. He achieved public prominence by brokering a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia that resulted in the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.

"The capture of Karadzic on Monday took me back to a long night of confrontation, drama and negotiations almost 13 years ago, the only time I ever met him. It was 5 p.m. on Sept. 13, 1995, the height of the war in Bosnia. Finally, after years of weak western and U.N. response to Serb aggression and ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Croats in Bosnia, U.S.-led NATO bombing had put the Serbs on the defensive. Our small diplomatic negotiating team, which included then-Lt. Gen. Wesley K. Clark and Christopher Hill (now the senior U.S. envoy to North Korea), was in Belgrade for the fifth time, trying to end a war that had already taken the lives of nearly 300,000 people.

These three men, Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic, were the primary reason for that war. Mladic and Karadzic had already been indicted as war criminals by the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. (Milosevic was not to be indicted until 1999.) [...] Karadzic was silent at first. He had a large face with heavy jowls, a soft chin and surprisingly gentle eyes. Then, when he heard our demand that the siege of Sarajevo be lifted immediately, he exploded. Rising from the table, the American-educated Karadzic raged in passable English about the "humiliations" his people were suffering. I reminded Milosevic that he had promised that this sort of harangue would not occur. Milosevic said something to Karadzic in Serbian; he sat down again, and the meeting got down to business."
Regina Leader-Post

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