With his indictment by the ICTY on July 24, 1995, Karadžić became an accused international criminal and Europe’s most wanted man. But he regarded the indictment with contempt. He refused to turn himself in and took extraordinary measures to avoid capture over the next thirteen years. He audaciously and creatively masterminded his evasion of the law and lived a surprisingly full if unorthodox life on the lam. He owed his success in part to the considerable popularity and influence he retained among Bosnian Serb nationalists, but his ability to adapt and transform his entire persona proved to be his greatest asset. As in his political career, however, the audacity and arrogance that contributed to his success ultimately led to his downfall. Unable to repress his craving for public acclaim, he took inordinate risks as he again entered public life, this time under an alias. This chapter tells of his life, passions, evasions, and deceptions in those years.
From Open Defiance to Monastic Evasion
The Dayton Peace Agreement not only ended the war, it also imposed an entirely new and untested political structure on the country. A Peace Implementation Council, made up of representatives of 55 countries and headed by a Steering Board, became the supreme decision-making body for the civilian administration. The council supervised the Office of the High Representative (OHR), an appointed senior European diplomat or politician with powers nearly as great as most heads of state. The Dayton agreement provided for an international peacekeeping force led by NATO. That force, consisting at first of about 65,000 troops, including 22,000 Americans, was called the Implementation Force (IFOR) from December 1995 to December 1996, Stabilization Force (SFOR) until December 2004, and EUFOR (European Union Force, also known as Althea), since then. Over time the force was reduced from 65,000 troops in early 1996 to fewer than 100 in EUFOR. In 1995, many UNPROFOR troops and much equipment were transferred to IFOR, but the new NATO-led force had a broader mandate, more weapons, and many more troops than UNPROFOR. With UNPROFOR’s dissolution and the end of fighting, the UN was reduced to a limited role as supervisor of the International Police Task Force and certain advisory functions.