Balkans are probably one of the most interesting regions in the world. In that geographically small area of South-Eastern Europe over the last 100 or so years world powers fought many battles and wars. Since Berlin Congress in 1878 Balkans are one of the crucial places in the geo-strategic games between East and West. In 1914 Gavrilo Princip shot to death Crown Prince Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, in 1945 that areas was surgically sliced and separated by the Big Three at Yalta Conference, from 1945 to 1990 was one of the strongest economic and military powers in that part of Europe. Then started another Balkanian catastrophe. With death of Yugoslavia’s dictator and communistic leader Josip Broz Tito nationalism, radicalism and overpowering religionism started its rise which ended up with long-lasting war and hundreds of thousands of lost lives.
As you’ll see in the attached video interview former US diplomat, head of OSCE, one of the founders of ICTY Prosecution office William Bill Stuebner is talking about very interesting elements of that last period. In conversation with my colleague Adaleta Merkez, Mr. Stuebner, is revealing probably for the first time how US conducted diplomacy, political negotiations and how it deal with war criminals at the start of that process. Also paints totally different picture about current political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina plainly speaking about current Foreign Affair Minister Lagumdžija, Republika Srpska President Dodik and others. While many are convinced that Balkans especially Bosnia is a the centre of US foreign policy this former diplomat and the friend of former envoy to Bosnia, late Richard “Dick” Holbrooke is not so optimist.
To me one of the most interesting parts is when he’s speaking about war criminals, their lives in the ICTY prison unit and attendance at the court procedures. People in Bosnia would think that former war enemies are still enemies, but if we pay attention to his words, we will hear more like brotherly cohabitant environment in Den Hague.
Original interview was aired on Bosnian FaceTV in their flagship newscast Central newscast with Senad Hadzifejzovic, and it’s the first major interview conducted by 19 years old colleague, journalist and broadcaster Adaleta Merkez.