Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event that gave the biggest
headlines in the world during the year and that touched on
Bosnia and Herzegovina took place in neighboring Serbia,
where the Bosnian Serb leaders during the war, Radovan
Karadžić, were arrested in July. Karadžić was soon
extradited to the UN War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.
There, prosecution awaited eleven counts for genocide, war
crimes, crimes against humanity and other abuses during the
war in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992–95. The indictment
included the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre in
Srebrenica, as well as ethnic cleansing and destruction of
property. Karadžić informed the court that he intended to
conduct his own defense.
Countryaah reports, the War Criminal Tribunal established in Bosnia and
Herzegovina in 2005 also made its first judgments concerning
the Srebrenica massacre during the year. Seven Bosnian Serb
former police and military were sentenced to genocide to
between 38 and 42 years in prison. Four defendants were
released at the same time.
In April, the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina
decided on a joint police force for the entire country,
which since the end of the war in 1995 had separate police
units in the two sub-republics. The creation of a national
police force was a requirement of the EU to finalize a
Stabilization and Association Agreement, the first step
towards future membership. In June, the coveted SAA
agreement was finally signed. However, the path to full
membership seemed long for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which
still appeared to be deeply divided.
The split became clear during the fall, when top-level
representatives in both sub-republics showed deep distrust
between the regions. Haris Silajdžić, the Bosnian
representative in the presidential troika, spoke of the
Serbian republic as a unit "based on genocide". The Prime
Minister of the Serbian part, Milorad Dodik, continued to
pursue politics as if the purpose were to establish a de
facto independent state in the Republika Srpska. Their
actions prompted the international community's envoy,
Miroslav Lajcak, to sharply point out that such pronounced
animosity puts obstacles in the way of EU membership.
When local elections were held in October, the picture
was confirmed: issues of importance shone with their absence
and nationalist parties became the major victors in all
three peoples. The turnout of 55 percent was unexpectedly
Not long after the election, Richard Holbrooke, chief
architect of the Bosnia and Herzegovina peace treaty, warned
in 1995, and former UN envoy Paddy Ashdown warned that
Bosnia and Herzegovina was about to collapse as a state.
They called on the US and the EU to send troops to the
country to help it out of the crisis.