NATO blitz raid on Karadzic fails

NATO has admitted that its attempt to snatch Radovan Karadzic from his hideout in the Srbska Republika in South-East Bosnia has failed.

The operation was carried out on Thursday morning by the SFOR force stationed in Bosnia, part of the 20,000-strong stabilisation force in the area. After extensive intelligence operations, the attempt was launched, but failed as the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs slipped out of reach.

The SFOR troops have a mandate to arrest any indictees of war crimes as they are encountered. Whether this includes aggressive raids to capture them is open to question. There have been numerous attempts to capture Radovan Karadzic and former military commander of the Bosnian Serbs, Ratko Mladic, believed to be hiding in Serbia.

The failure of NATO will serve to warn Mr. Karadzic that the pressure is on but it will also force him deeper into hiding. Attempts to apply pressure on Mr. Karadzic’s mother and brother, to persuade him to voluntarily give himself up, have been fruitless.