Berserkistan Navigator Bosnian Serbs Told to
‘Break from False Leaders’

As July 1 deadline for removing Radovan Karadzic nears, Western mediators attempt to reassure Bosnian Serb people.

By Dan De Luce

Radovan Karadzic PALE, Bosnia, June 28 (Reuters) - Western mediators struggling to oust Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic appealed over his head to Bosnian Serbs on Friday to "break from false leaders." Karadzic's battle for power neared a climax as Carl Bildt, the international high representative in Bosnia, set a July 1 deadline for his resignation, backed by the warning of U.N. sanctions against the Bosnian Serb republic.

The isolated Bosnian Serb leadership was in almost constant session in their government seat of Pale while Karadzic fired off defiant threats to run again for the presidency in elections this September. Mediator Colum Murphy said the expectation of mediators was still that Karadzic would bow out during the weekend under the intense pressure from Bildt and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

"It is clear Dr Karadzic is not giving up easily, but it is also clear to the people around him that we will not accept less than his disappearance from public life," he added.

Milosevic has also told the Bosnian Serbs they risk reprisals if they do not replace Karadzic, an indicted war criminal whose resignation was demanded by the Bosnian peace agreement. Karadzic has barricaded himself behind unacceptable conditions for his departure while Bosnian Serb television, controlled by hardliners, has tried to fan public support for him.

Endeavouring to reassure ordinary Bosnian Serbs, Murphy said in Sarajevo: "It is a hard wrench to break from false leaders, but it must be done. It is the only way forward. It is why we have focused on Dr Karadzic."

He said the "plans of resurgent, indicted war criminals include resurgent fascism," and added: "The problem has always been ... how to allay the fear of the Bosnian Serb people that the international community might not offer the way forward towards what every family in this country really wants -- a decent future for its children. That is what we want to do."

Karadzic was due to attend a leadership session of the ruling Serb Democratic Party (SDS) in Pale during the day. Political sources said his options were shrinking despite his defiance. A renewal of sanctions by either Serbia or the United Nations would be economically disastrous for the Bosnian Serb republic.

While the SDS controls the government in Pale and the security forces, there is little sympathy for Karadzic and his hardline allies among northern Bosnian Serb leaders who favour cooperation with the peace process.

To learn more...
Berserkistan, June 28 · G7 Nations Discussing Karadzic Sanctions Today
Berserkistan, June 27 · Bildt Refuses Karadzic Face-Saving Pleas
Berserkistan, June 26 · Karadzic Threatens to Bring Down Serbia
Berserkistan, June 26 · Karadzic is Still a Hero to Many Serbs
Berserkistan, June 26 · Klickovic Tries to Cut a Deal for Karadzic’s Departure
Berserkistan, June 26 · Bosnian Serbs in Crisis Over Serb Decree on Karadzic
The Indictment Against Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic War Crimes Tribunal

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