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Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Bosnia war: Main players
Alija Izetbegovic
Mr Izetbegovic has sought a multi-ethnic alliance to preserve Bosnia
By south-east Europe analyst Gabriel Partos

The Muslim chairman of Bosnia-Hercegovina's collective presidency, Alija Izetbegoviic, has stood down due to age and ill health.

Mr Izetbegovic, 75, was one of the three key Balkan signatories of the Dayton accords of 1995 which brought peace to Bosnia.

News Online takes a look at what has happened to the main players in the Bosnian war.

Alija Izetbegovic: Has dominated Bosnia's Muslim - or Bosniak - political stage since his election to the Bosnian presidency in 1990.

Although his movement, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), has been an ethnically-based organisation from the very beginning, Izetbegovic has always sought to bring together a multi-ethnic alliance to help preserve Bosnia as a single state.

Now aged 75, Izetbegovic has suffered several bouts of ill health, and he announced in June that he would cut down on his commitments.

He is staying on as leader of the SDA which is expected to suffer setbacks in next month's elections at the hands of the multi-ethnic Social Democrats.

Slobodan Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic was thrown out of power last week
Slobodan Milosevic: Until last week he was Serbia's strongman since seizing power on the crest of a wave of Serbian nationalism. In 1988-90 he centralised control over Serbia by eliminating the autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina, and he secured domination over Montenegro.

But his attempt to dominated the whole of the former Yugoslavia failed - as did his subsequent enterprise in the early 1990s to carve out a greater Serbia with the capture of Serb-populated areas of Croatia and Bosnia.

He became an international semi-pariah following the Hague-based UN Tribunal's move to indict him for war crimes during the Kosovo conflict last year.

Last week he was forced to concede defeat in Yugoslavia's presidential elections after a popular uprising which prompted the army top brass to order him - at the point of the gun - to give in. Still only 59, Milosevic and his wife, Mira Markovic, may follow their son, Marko, in seeking refuge outside Serbia. Their exact whereabouts are at present unknown.

Franjo Tudjman: Died at the age of 77, while in office, although power was already ebbing away from him as the pro-Western opposition alliance was preparing to defeat his nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). Following Mr Tudjman's death, the HDZ was badly beaten in both the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Mr Tudjman is still viewed by most Croats as the founding father of independent Croatia; but much of his legacy, including his militant nationalism and obsession with history has been bypassed, while his network of politically-appointed cronies in public office has been largely dismantled.

Radovan Karadzic
Karadzic is said to be hiding in eastern Bosnia
Radovan Karadzic: Twice indicted by the Hague Tribunal for war crimes, the wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs has been in hiding somwhere in eastern Bosnia for more than three years. His chances of escaping justice are becoming increasingly slim; the Nato-led S-For peacekeepers in Bosnia have been tightening the net around him with the arrests of other suspects, most importantly with the apprehension of his former right-hand man, Momcilo Krajisnik. And the revolution in Serbia will make it more difficult for him to get support from Belgrade.

General Ratko Mladic: Mr Karadzic's wartime military commander, the general was increasingly at odds with his political leader in the final phase of the conflict. Since then he has sought to escape arrest by moving to Belgrade.

When he goes out of his fortified home to watch a football game, he is surrounded by a large group of bodyguards. Although the new Yugoslav President, Vojislav Kostunica, has said he will not hand over war crimes suspects to The Hague, a change of policy under international pressure could make General Mladic an early target for extradition.

Mate Boban
Doubts persist over the death of Mate Boban
Mate Boban: Leader of the Bosnian Croats during the most vicious phase of the Bosnian war when the Croats turned against their erstwhile Muslim allies.

Mr Boban was replaced in 1994 when the Croat and Muslim sides accepted a peace deal under United States pressure. Mr Boban died of a stroke in 1997 - although subsequent rumours claimed that his death had been faked to avoid his prosecution for war crimes. His successor, Dario Kordic, surrendered to The Hague Tribunal where he is currently on trial for war crimes against Muslims.

General Tihomir Blaskic: Wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces, he was among the first to surrender to the Tribunal.

This year he was sentenced to 45 years in jail l - the longest prison term handed down by The Hague - for war crimes committed against Muslims. An appeal is currently under way.

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See also:

21 Jul 00 | Europe
Bosnian war criminal loses appeal
14 Jan 00 | Europe
Analysis: Big fish still at large
20 Mar 00 | Europe
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