Inside Story

What legacy did Karadzic and the war leave behind for Bosnia?

Tribunal at The Hague increases jail sentence of former Bosnian Serb leader for genocide and war crimes.

United Nations judges have sentenced former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic to life in prison, ending one of the most momentous trials over genocide and war crimes committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. 

The Hague-based tribunal ruled his initial 40-year jail term was too light and decided to increase it to life behind bars.

But do his victims feel justice has finally been served?

When Yugoslavia broke up in the early 1990s, it triggered a three-year conflict that led to the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

Karadzic was the leader of the Bosnian Serbs at the time.

He planned the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, where almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in a campaign of genocide against Bosnian Muslims.

When the 73-year-old lost his appeal on Wednesday, survivors of the massacre celebrated. But many Bosnian Serbs still regard Karadzic as a hero.

More than 20 years on, has the region been able to heal its wounds? And what legacy did Karadzic and the war leave behind for Bosnia today?

Presenter: Nick Clark


Jasmin Mujanovic – Political scientist at Elon University

Refik Hodzic – Former spokesman for International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia

Amila Buturovic – Professor of humanities and religious studies at York University