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Radovan Karadžić (Serbian: Радован Караџић, pronounced [râdovaːn kârad͡ʒit͡ɕ]; born 19 June 1945) is a former Bosnian Serb politician. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Karadžić, as President of the Republika Srpska, sought the direct unification of that entity with Serbia.
Early life Edit
Radovan Karadžić was born in Petnjica near Šavnik in PR Montenegro, Yugoslavia. Karadžić belongs to the Karadžić brotherhood of Drobnjaci and is related to Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (1787-1864), the major reformer of the Serbian language. His father, Vuko, had been a member of the Chetniks—the army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's government-in-exile during World War II—and was imprisoned by the post-war communist regime for much of his son's childhood. Karadžić moved to Sarajevo in 1960 to study psychiatry at the Sarajevo University School of Medicine
He studied neurotic disorders and depression at Næstved Hospital in Denmark in 1970, and during 1974-75 he underwent further medical training at Columbia University in New York. After his return to Yugoslavia, he worked in the Koševo Hospital. He was also a poet, influenced by Serbian writer Dobrica Ćosić, who encouraged him to go into politics. Karadžić flirted with Bosnia's Green Party. During his spell as an ecologist, he declared that "Bolshevism is bad, but nationalism is even worse".
Political life Edit
Following encouragement from Dobrica Ćosić, later the first president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Jovan Rašković, leader of Croatian Serbs, he cofounded theSerb Democratic Party (Srpska Demokratska Stranka) in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1989. The party aimed at unifying the Republic's Bosnian Serb community and joining Croatian Serbs in leading them in staying part of Yugoslavia in the event of secession by those two republics from the federation.
President of Republika Srpska Edit
On 6 April 1992, Bosnia was recognized by the United Nations as an independent state. Karadžić declared the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, renamed Republika Srpska a few months later. Karadžić was voted President of this Bosnian Serb administration in Pale on about 13 May 1992 after the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. At the time he assumed this position, his de jure powers, as described in the constitution of the Bosnian Serb administration, included commanding the army of the Bosnian Serb administration in times of war and peace, and having the authority to appoint, promote and discharge officers of the army. Karadžić made three trips to the UN in New York in February and March 1993 for negotiations on the future of Bosnia.
War crimes charges Edit
Karadžić is accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of personal and command responsibility for numerous war crimes committed against non-Serbs, in his roles as Supreme Commander of the Bosnian Serb armed forces and President of the National Security Council of the Republika Srpska. He is accused by the same authority of being responsible for the deaths of more than 7,500 Muslims. Under his direction and command, Bosnian Serb forces initiated the Siege of Sarajevo. He is accused by the ICTY of ordering the Srebrenica genocide in 1995, directing Bosnian Serb forces to "create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival of life" in the UN safe area. He was also accused by the ICTY of ordering that United Nations personnel be taken hostage in May–June 1995.
Ongoing Bosnian Genocide Trial Edit
As of 2015, Karadžić and Mladić remain on trial on two counts of genocide and other war crimes committed in Srebrenica, Prijedor, Ključ, and other districts of Bosnia.