The international community's top official in Bosnia took the toughest measures against Serb leaders and officials in what was thought of as an effort to intensify the hunt for Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader and war-crimes suspect on Wednesday, reports iht.com.
Paddy Ashdown suspended 60 politicians and officials from their posts and froze the bank accounts of several leading companies and of the Serbian Democratic Party, or SDS, which was founded by Karadzic before the Bosnian war and which remains the primary Bosnian Serb party. Announcing the measures in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, Ashdown, the High Representative, said the SDS and senior members of the Bosnian Serb government were colluding to ensure that Karadzic was not arrested and handed over to the United Nations tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
According to csmonitor.com, the firings were a political repercussion of Bosnia's failure to be invited to join NATO's Partnership for Peace at the summit in Istanbul earlier this week. NATO was set to decide whether Bosnia's military reforms - which involve putting its former warring Croat, Muslim, and Serb militaries under a single command - warranted an invitation into the group, the first step toward joining NATO.
The military reforms, along with the Bosnian Serbs' recent acknowledgements about Srebrenica, could have been interpreted as signs that the country was ready to move on. But NATO had required Bosnia to produce some war-crimes fugitives as a condition of membership.
The most notorious of these fugitives, former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, was indicted by the UN war-crimes tribunal for genocide at Srebrenica in 1995. He's widely thought to be moving around the mountains of eastern Bosnia under heavy guard.