Radovan Karadžić was born on 19 June 1945 in Savnik, currently part of the Republic of Montenegro.
He is one of the founding members of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) and he served as its president from 12 July 1990 to 19 July 1996. On 27 March 1992, he became the president of the Bosnian Serb Republic National Security Council. Karadzic became one of the three members of the presidency before becoming on 12 May 1995, the sole President of the Serbian Republic from 17 December 1992 to 19 July 1996. As such, Karadžić was also the Commander-in-Chief.
In July 1991, the Serbian officials of Bosnia, particularly Karadžić, sought to take control of certain Bosnia and Herzegovina’s regions, which were declared integral part of the Serbian Republic. They intentionally created inhuman life conditions for the non-Serbian population, terrorizing them in order to force them to leave these areas. Persons refusing to leave were expelled or killed. Until the end of September 1995, persecutions and expulsions were consistently rising.
The Muslim population sought refuge mainly in the Bosnian rural regions, which had been spared until then by the Serbian forces of Bosnia, particularly in Srebrenica. On 16 April 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted the resolution 819 urging all parties of the conflict to treat Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde and Tuzla as « safety zones » that must not be the target of any armed attack or any other hostile act.
However, around 6 July 1995, the Serbian forces of Bosnia, following the order of Karadzic, bombarded Srebrenica and attacked the UN observation posts located in the “safety zone”. On 11 July, they entered the city. Several thousands of Muslim people were gathered in the enclave, men, women and children. They sought refuge in the United Nations complex in Potocari, inside the “safety zone”. On the following day, the Serbian forces of Bosnia separated men from women and children and placed them in detention. Between 11 and 18 of July, the men were slaughtered en masse
When the Serbian forces entered the enclave, another group of around 15 000 Muslim, mainly men, chose to flee through the forests for Tuzla. Thousands of them were captured by the Serbian forces and executed. The rest of the Muslim population was expelled outside the Srebrenica enclave, achieving the purpose of the ethnic cleansing targeted at the Muslim population.
The SDS and the governmental authorities gathered the non-Serbian population in camps and detention centers, guarded by police and soldiers, under the command of the high Serbian authorities, particularly Radovan Karadžić. Muslims and Bosnian Croats were detained in inhumane conditions, in constant fear of physical, moral and sexual violence. Thousands of detainees died because of these inhumane conditions or were executed.
Between 1 April 1992 and 30 November 1995, the Serbian forces of Bosnia, under the direction and command of Karadžić, carried out an attack against Sarajevo from the strategic positions in the center and the suburbs. They besieged the city and through bombardment as well as isolated shootings caused thousands of civilian casualties, children and elderly persons including. This siege lasted for 44 months and brought a climate of terror to the civilians.
Between 26 May and 2 June 1995, in response to the NATO air strikes, the Serbian forces of Bosnia, under the direction and command of Karadžić, detained more than 200 military observers and members of the UN peacekeeping forces, particularly in Pale and Sarajevo. They were kept hostage at military or strategic sites in order to protect them from other NATO strikes. Some of the hostages were abused and threatened during their captivity.