Former US envoy calls Serb leader Karadzic an ‘evil’

July 23rd, 2008 - 3:23 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Barack Obama
Washington, July 23 (DPA) The US envoy and architect of the peace deal that ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has called former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic an “evil” whose arrest was “historic”. “He was the most evil man I have ever met in my life,” Richard Holbrooke, the US ambassador who brokered the 1995 Dayton Accords to end the 1992-1995 ethnic war, said in an interview with CNN Tuesday.

Serbian authorities arrested Karadzic Monday after he spent 12 years on the run and amid increasing international pressure on Belgrade to turn war crimes suspects over to the UN tribunal in The Hague. Karadzic faces crimes against humanity and genocide charges.

Holbrooke spent weeks travelling throughout the Balkans in a frenzy of “shuttle diplomacy” aimed at securing a peace deal, an effort aided by a NATO air campaign to turn back advances by the Bosnian Serbs and drive them to the negotiating table.

Holbrooke compared Karadzic to Adolf Hitler, describing him as “dangerous” and “charismatic”.

Karadzic’s arrest “is a huge historic day for anyone who cares about justice,” the former diplomat said. Holbrooke was at the time the State Department’s top official for European affairs under president Bill Clinton.

Holbrooke went on to become the US ambassador to the UN. After leaving office, he served as Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s foreign policy adviser in the unsuccessful 2004 bid and more recently on Hillary Clinton’s staff.

Holbrooke’s name has been floated as possible candidate to become the next secretary of state if Barack Obama defeats Republican John McCain in the Nov 4 presidential election.

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