Key People and Parties


ICTY: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is a UN body set up to prosecute crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

International Court of Justice (ICJ): In October 2008 the UN General Assembly granted Serbia’s request for the ICJ to consider if Kosovo’s secession is legal.



Radovan Karadzic: Leader of the Bosnian Serbs and former president of ‘Republika Srpska’ during the Bosnian War. Currently on trial at the ICTY where he stands accused of war crimes against non-Serbs during the Siege of Sarajevo, as well as ordering the Srebrenica Massacre.

Ratko Mladic: Chief of Staff of the Bosnian Serb army during the Bosnian War. Accused of many crimes by the ICTY including genocide, he is currently a fugitive.

Alija Izetbegovic: Bosniak politician who oversaw the Bosnian vote for independence in 1992 and was President of Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992-96.

Mate Boban: Bosnian Croat leader during the war, only President of the (unrecognised) ‘Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia’ – a self-proclaimed autonomous part of Bosnia-Herzegovina that existed between 1991-94. Died of a stroke in 1997.

Fikret Abdic: Bosniak politician and businessman who actually won most votes in the Bosnia presidential elections of 1992 but did not assume presidency. During the war he split from the central Bosniak government allied with the Bosnian Serbs and formed the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia. Eventually fled to Croatia and was convicted in 2002 of War Crimes against Bosniak civilians.

Milorad Dodik: President of Republika Srpska, 1998-2001 and 2005-present.

Borjana Kristo: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2007. She is affiliated with the Croatian Democratic Union.

Suleiman Tihic: President of the largest Bosniak party (Party of Democratic Action)

Biljana Plavsic: Former president of the Republika Srpska; was indicted in 2001 by the ICTY for war crimes during the Bosnian war, and released 2009.

Nikola Koljevic: One of the deputy leaders of Bosnian Serb nationalists during the Bosnian war, as well as university professor, translator and an essayist, and Shakespeare scholar. Died in hospital after attempted suicide 1997.


The Office of the High Representative: Internationally appointed representative to oversee the implementation of the Dayton Agreement.



Hashmi Thaci: Former guerrilla leader who became Kosovarian Prime Minister in January 2008.

Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA): Formed in 1992, the KLA was a guerrilla insurgency aimed at achieving independences for Kosovo from Yugoslavia.

Kosovo Force (KFOR): the NATO-led Kosovo Force with the aim to guarantee security and stability.In June 2009 NATO decided to cut its presence in Kosovo. From the initial 14,000 peacekeeping troops a mere 8,400 currently remain.

Martti Ahtisaari: Appointed in 2006 as UN special envoy to Kosovo.


EULEX: European Union Rule of Law Mission deployed in Kosovo in 1998.

United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK): Peacekeeping and policing functions are being progressively replaced by KFOR and EULEX.



Slobodan Milošević: Serbian Nationalist politician who became President of Yugoslavia in 1989 and stayed in office throughout the Bosnian war. Often blamed for unleashing the wars in the former Yugoslavia. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) charged Milosevic with alleged crimes against humanity, violating the laws or customs of war, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and alleged genocide for his role during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. After five years detention in The Hague he died of heart attack in his cell in 2006 before the trail verdict was heard

Franjo Tuđman: First President of Croatia. Accused of making a deal with Milošević in 1991 to carve up Bosnia in to Croat and Serbian territories (the Karađorđevo agreement).

Boris Tadic: Current Serbian President, backing free market, pro-European reforms and Nato membership, and calling on Serbs to turn their backs on the nationalism of the past.

Mirko Cvetkovic: Current Serbian Prime Minister, rejecting Kosovo’s independence, pushing for integration of Serbia into the EU.

Milan Milutinovic: Former Serbian President (1998 -2002) who was acquitted of War Crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of ordering a ‘campaign of terror’ against Kosovo Albanians in the 1990s.

Zeljko Raznatovic: Serbian paramilitary leader during the Yugoslav wars. Indicted by the UN for crimes against humanity, but assassinated in 2000 before his trial.

Vojislav Seselj: Former member of the Serbian parlament, writer and lawyer, and founder of the Serbian Radical Party. Currently on trial for alleged war crimes.