Monday, July 28, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (July 28,2008) - The President of the largest Bosnian political party - the Party of Democratic Action (Bosnian: Stranka Demokratske Akcije - SDA) Sulejman Tihic will host the next meeting of the six biggest political parties in Bosnia, scheduled to take place in Sarajevo on August 23.

Invitations have been sent, but topics they are to discuss are still unknown. Most likely, the Bosnian constitutional reform will be high on the list.

A decision about this meeting was made after Tihic met with the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak.


NEW YORK, USA (July 28,2008) - In his article published on Saturday by the Daily News of New York City,Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel remembers Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic:

New York,July 26th,2008

"It's unimaginable.

For 13 long years, we thought he was hiding out in the mountains, surrounded by bodyguards. We looked for him in underground hideouts, tracked him down in the region's most obscure corners.

All in vain - Radovan Karadzic, the former Yugoslavia's most infamous, most notorious fugitive, was actually a public figure. People ran into him on the street, in restaurants or at the movies; some people watched him on TV, talking about alternative health options, and no one discovered his real identity.

In fact, examining pictures of him published by the press, with his fluffy white beard and glasses, I wouldn't have been able to unmask him myself.

And yet I had met him. If I ran into him on the street, I'd remember his face, I thought.

It was in late 1992. I had come to do research on the situation in Bosnia and Serbia. Disturbing, even revolting reports were trickling back to us. Newspapers, radio and TV stations were broadcasting horrendous images: cities bombarded, corpses lying in mass graves, massacred children, mutilated men, raped women.

Reports of odious deeds were circulating: Tuzla, Srebrenica entered the annals of crimes against humanity. The words "Auschwitz in Bosnia" were solemnly pronounced.

Faced with various governments' nearly official indifference, I responded to Yugoslavian President Dobrica Cosic's invitation and, with members of Ted Koppel's "Nightline" team, headed to Belgrade, Sarajevo and Banja Luka. We met with all the leaders in the region except the leader of Croatia. Its president, Franco Tudjman, was a Holocaust denier, and I refused to shake his hand.

But I did talk with Slobodan Milosevic. And with Karadzic, in whose palace - a real fortress - the meeting took place. His gaze was icy, haunted, unearthly. He was the all-powerful master. Why so many executions, so many murders? Was it because of some violent mysticism, a cult of death? No. For him, it was something else: a fascination with holding absolute power over his enemies as well as his allies.

I asked him why he had had the famous Sarajevo National Library burned down. Given that he himself wanted to be known as a psychiatrist and a poet, was he afraid of books and their human and humanist truth?

Red-faced with anger, pounding the table, he claimed it was the Muslims themselves who had burned down the building from the inside.

I objected. I had seen the library in ruins: the damaged walls, the artillery scars. The building had been attacked from the outside.

No point in arguing - the pigheaded Karadzic denied it all.

The idea of creating an international tribunal was mine. One day, when I was in the office of Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, we talked about the tragic situation in Bosnia. What were the options? Political, humanitarian, military?

That was when I suggested creating an international tribunal. My argument was that only indicting the killers for war crimes and crimes against humanity would frighten them. There would be no statute of limitations, and they would have to be extradited. Eagleburger thought it was a good idea and proposed it in his negotiations with the allies in the U.S. and Europe.

And yes, I think major criminals should be brought to trial before international courts in order to have a historical and also a pedagogical impact on future generations.

People might ask: How can you ever adequately punish a man who is guilty of ordering the assassination of 8,000 human beings? Good question. It seems that, by its sheer scope, the crime outweighs the punishment. And yet, these trials help our collective memory. For that reason alone, they are justified.

The shocking fact remains: Karadzic succeeded in walking free. For 13 long years. He lived without bodyguards, in Bosnian cities and villages, while local and international police and NATO agents were trying to track him down.

Whose fault was it? Who was responsible? Who were the accomplices?

Was his disguise that good, that successful? Perhaps, may God help us, beneath the killer's mask, there was a failed actor?"

Wiesel, Andrew Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. A Holocaust survivor, he was one of the leading voices to call the world's attention to atrocities committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia. This article was written exclusively for the Daily News..

The Daily News of New York City is the fifth most-widely circulated daily newspaper in the United States with a daily circulation of 703,137, as of March 30, 2008.It was founded in 1919, and it has won ten Pulitzer Prizes.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (July 28,2008) - The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák has launched a round of bilateral talks with Bosnian political leaders. The High Representative and EU Special Representative aims to address a number of open political issues to generate political consensus and ensure progress in Bosnia does not come to a standstill in the months ahead,the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) said.

Last week in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo the HR/EUSR met with the President of the largest Bosnian political party - the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) - Sulejman Tihic.They discussed the appointment of the Bosnian Ombudsmen.

“Restarting the process from scratch would be a needless delay”, said Lajčák. “The Bosnian State Parliament must find a means to harmonize positions on the Bosniak and Croat names before them and conclude this process as soon as possible.”

Looking ahead to activities for the Autumn, the High Representative and EU Special Representative called for a new readiness to resolve the State and Defense property issues and placing the Brcko District into the Bosnian Constitution.

The High Representative and EU Special Represenative and the SDA President discussed the concerning developments in Stolac’s secondary school. The High Representative and EU Special Representative confirmed that he has been following the issue and that it was unacceptable for “children to be held hostage by politics”. Lajčák confirmed that he expected the situation to be resolved as a matter of urgency.

With the Stabilisation and Association agreement now in place the High Representative and EU Special Representative and the SDA President agreed that a meeting of party leaders from the governing state level coalition would secure Bosnia's faster progress on the road to the EU membership.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (July 28,2008) - Bosnian prosecutors are to investigate around 100 people suspected of helping Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic flee prosecution.Official investigations have begun against 44 persons, the Banja Luka-based daily Nezavisne novine reported. Among the suspects are Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's wife and children.

The suspcted accomplices are accused not only of helping Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic but also Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic and other Serbian war criminals escape justice over the years.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague indicted Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic on charges including genocide committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.