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Source: Telegraf, Belgrade, FR Yugoslavia, 4/16/96

Radovan Karadzic's State of Republic Address

Doctor Radovan Karadzic

It is my duty to give you an assessment of the current situation and the
strategic goals of our Republic and the short, middle and long term
strategies for achieving these goals.

Five years have passed since the first multi party elections in the former
Bosnia-Hercegovina, four years and three months since the founding of the
Republic and four years since the beginning of the war.

There are few nations in the world who were exposed to such trials and
suffering in such a short period as our people has been. Centuries and
decades which our enemies had spent working on the de-nationalization of the
Serbs west from the Drina and on their separation from the mother Serbia and
Montenegro reached their culmination in the destruction of Yugoslavia and
the formation of new nations which hadn't existed before. New world order
used the rich anti Serb heritage of the Catholic, Islamic and Communist
international, strongly trying to submerge the Serb people west from the
Drina into new nations and turn it into an ethnic minority, in Croatia, or a
part of a new Bosniak nation, of the Kallay type, in Bosnia.

In one moment, at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, it seemed that
the international community understood the situation caused by the
destruction of Yugoslavia, and realized that the Serbs in the then Bosnia,
since they had been pulled out of Yugoslavia against their will, had a right
to their own state, at least within the framework of some confederal Bosnia.

The result of that was the Lisbon Conference, which was mediated by the
representatives of the European Community, today European Union, Lord
Carrington and ambassador Jose Cutilhero. On March 18 1992, at the time when
the regular and irregular Croatian forces were taking new Serb lives, the
Lisbon agreement was reached by the three constitutive communities in Bosnia
and the international community, i.e. European Union. That agreement
recognized our right to a separate state, based on an ethnic principle, with
recognition of other, above all geographic, and economic principles.

The significance of the Lisbon Agreement was much larger than it sometimes
seems. Before the recognition of independent Bosnia-Hercegovina, the
Republic of Srpska was recognized as a condition for that recognition. This
Parliament had established Srpska two months before the Lisbon Agreement,
under the name of Srpska [Serb] Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. That
recognition within the scope of the Lisbon Agreement was the recognition of
our centuries old historic national rights, and came as a result of the
legal political struggle of the Serb deputies in the Bosnian Parliament and
the support of all patriotic forces in the former Bosnia and our motherland
and Serb Krajina. That was a legitimate political struggle in front of the
eyes of our whole people, based on its support and its prodding. That was
the most painful compromise and concession that one nation can make, which
we did not accept but were forced to accept: the fact that that confederal
Bosnia would not be a part of Yugoslavia. Whenever the Serb historic
territories were not in the same state with Serbia, Serbs were the victims
of a genocide, which was also confirmed in this war.

Everyone knows who broke already achieved Agreement and under whose
influence [Alija Izetbegovic broke the Agreement after being promised USA
support by the then American ambassador in Belgrade, Zimmerman]. The result
was a war, which could have easily been avoided. There are a lot of
similarities between the Dayton and Lisbon agreements. Why had we been
fighting for four years? Will those responsible for the failure of the
Lisbon agreement which caused the war be condemned by the Court of justice
and history? Will they break another agreement and again cause a war? Can we
trust them? Our people must not rely on international justice and the
judgment of history, since history is full of tragic examples of destruction
of whole nations. In order to survive, nations must fight at the cost of
great losses.

Regardless of whether those guilty for this war will be tried, we shall
always hold them responsible and will never forget what they did to us.

However, we shall never allow that the Lisbon Agreement and the
responsibility of the international factors for its failure be forgotten.
Because of that we reject all accusations that we were the aggressor and
that we won this state in armed struggle. We won our state through
legitimate political means, the international community offered a solution
which recognized our state without armed struggle and that cannot be
neglected, neither from a historical nor legal point of view. We must never
let the international factors off the hook and allow them to forget that
which they recognized and offered before the war and without struggle, push
that into oblivion and avoid the responsibility for the war.

Three weeks after the recognition of our state, we were forced to defend it
with arms. Our armed struggle and the defense of the state and the people
are among the brightest examples of knightly self-sacrifice. During the
struggle, other related and friendly peoples confirmed that we were a unique
example of the defense of freedom and dignity to other small and endangered
nations. But only our people knows the price for this honor. Thousands of
the most handsome and most promising Serb men died in this fight for

We fought against huge powers. Against a more numerous and better equipped
enemy. Against the immeasurable industry of lies. Against the interests of
the most powerful world powers. We also fought against our weaknesses, and
regional and ideological divisions. We fought with support from the whole
Serbdom, and often with painful attacks and lack of understanding from the
most unexpected sides. The people was on our side, and the God was on our

The results of our struggle were historic, and would be for any other
nation. The highest goal of any nation is a sovereign state. Even in this
moment, many peoples in Africa and Asia are dying for that dream, the dream
which we fulfilled relatively quickly; because of that, some peoples mention
our name with respect.

Our goal was, and remains, the united state of all Serbs; still, even the
Republic of Srpska, since it was established in the struggle against huge
odds, is a significant achievement on that road and will always be mentioned
in the history of the Serb nation. We saved our people from a genocide and
secured a significant portion of its historic territories. Some precious
territories we didn't include in our state, and we will never accept that
that loss is definitive, but we will not continue armed struggle for their
return to our sovereignty. The exodus of the people from those territories
was not caused by the Srpska authorities, but by the clear historic
experience and memory of our people which confirms that we cannot survive
under the enemy regimes in Zagreb and Sarajevo. We have no right to demand
from our people to stay on those territories which were left outside Srpska
and which for now remain under foreign rule. We are convinced that our
people is more precious than our territories. We can only guarantee the
freedom and democracy to our people in our state. I repeat, when we were
living under foreign rule we were exterminated. It is understandable that
the Church and the nation grieve the loss of centuries old territories and
eparchies, bit we should remembers ravines to which we had been thrown every
time when those territories were not under our rule.

What is our duty in the future? Which historic tasks are in front of us in
the near and far future? Often, we hear complaints that Serb national
program doesn't exist. I believe that every Serb child knows what are the
natural Serb goals, but the Serb national program is still something more
than a list of Serb natural yearnings. It must contain the goals and point
out the means and forces which can be used in order to achieve those goals.

However, the Serb people in Srpska can not write that program without the
rest of the Serb nation. That is the historic obligation of the whole
Serbdom, above all in the mother republics of Serbia, Montenegro and the
Republic of Srpska, but also that part of Serbdom which is scattered all
over the world in emigration, that part of Serbdom which we have until
recently irresponsibly rejected.

Immediate Surroundings and the International Position of RS

The international community started the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina in order
to annul the results of the Lisbon Agreement, in order to force the Serbs
living west from the Drina to accept a new nation and to have another war
which would allow it to gain a foothold for NATO in the Balkans.

That very same international community created and imposed the Dayton
Agreement in order to stop that war, and used different means in order to
impose the solution which it wanted to achieve through the war: the
formation of a new state, a nation, Bosnia-Hercegovina. No matter, how much
the Dayton Agreement was imposed and no matter how unjust it might be, we
refuse to wage war and want to implement that Agreement. Unfortunately,
international factors are making new efforts to change the Dayton Agreement
during implementation and through new interpretations at the Serb expense;
for example, during only one night, in Washington, while transposing the
borders from one to another, more detailed, map, those factors took away
half percent of the Bosnian territory from Srpska and put all the important
points on the other side. It is obvious that the strategy of the new world
order may be different, but the goals are the same. The goal is to take away
from Serbs that which had been given to them in the Dayton Agreement.

The interests of the important powers meet over Srpska. Islam is trying to
secure its bridgehead in Europe. European powers are trying to prevent that
by supporting the Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina, that is the muslim-Croat
Federation, through which they aim to prevent the formation of a
fundamentalist Muslim state in Europe and at the same time unite Serb
enemies and under the guise of balance of power actually destroy the
Republic of Srpska and integrate it into Bosnia-Hercegovina. At the same
time those forces whose aim is the intermittent destabilisation of this
region are trying to maintain an unstable solution and arm the muslims, in
order to leave the possibility of renewed fighting open.

Our interests are totally different. The destruction of the muslim-Croat
Federation doesn't interest us, since that would cause renewed fighting
among them, in which we do not want to participate. Therefore, we expect
from those who have established the Federation to do everything possible to
stabilize it, or provide for peaceful separation.

It is in our interest to strengthen the peace and consolidate that which has
been given to us. We can not allow that the Dayton Agreement, which is
already in many aspects unfavorable to Serbs, be further altered at our
expense. All our political and state structures have a duty in their work on
the implementation of the Agreement to preserve that degree of our
sovereignty. Our legitimate right is to use all permissible, therefore
political, means to raise our sovereignty to the highest degree possible in
these circumstances.

Although our relations with Serbia and Montenegro shouldn't be in the
category of international affairs, I have to emphasize that our strategic
interest is to achieve the closest possible economic, cultural, political
and state links with our motherland. It is obvious that the unity of the
Serb people remains one of our goals.

We will have to put a lot of effort in establishing links with the Serbia in
emigration, with a large number of exceptional Serbs abroad who have
supported us from the beginning of our struggle, and who support our goals
regarding the political structure of our state. Our goal is that the
Republic of Srpska become the state of all Serbs; consequently I propose
that this Parliament pass a resolution stating that all Serbs can obtain the
citizenship of Srpska if they wish.

It is very important that we improve our relations with all friendly states,
Slavic, Orthodox and all others who are not our enemies. Nevertheless we
have to improve disturbed relations with all countries who are willing to do
so, with the understandable condition that they recognize the Republic of
Srpska, Serb people and its basic interests. It must be our goal to pull out
of the company of those countries who stand in the way of great world powers
and their strategies, and to avoid at any cost to become a tool in their

Improvement of our political relations with other countries should be
followed by the improved economic relations. We must be aware of our
economic capabilities and remove from our laws and behavior everything which
might contribute to continuation of our economic isolation.

Most Urgent National Business

In the internal affairs, the conditions in the Republic of Srpska have
slowly been improving. The wave of pre-Dayton and post-Dayton refugees was a
great suffering for our people and a great trial for the Republic of Srpska.
Nevertheless, the political situation remained stable, and has been
continuously improving. The attitude of the people, who have suffered a lot,
but have won a state through that suffering, which gives a historic
justification to that suffering, has been getting better as well. Therefore,
the most important task facing our state is to take care of the refugees,
provide for their economic recovery and total integration in the
surroundings in which they had decided to live. The state must develop a
deliberate demographic and population policy.

In parallel with the integration of refugees, the state must urgently
establish a social program for a large part of our population, above all,
the families of slain soldiers, war invalids, retirees and demobilized
soldiers. An urgent social program, which would rely on the correct
utilization of national resources, must provide support to the most
endangered categories of our population until our economy recovers. Recovery
of our economy, based on the free market principles, will actually become a
lasting social program and the best protection for the population. The
social program must envisage the provision of sufficient amounts of fuel for
sowing at acceptable prices, so that the demobilized soldiers and the
population as a whole will be able to produce food.

All this must be done in parallel with the consolidation of the government,
and establishment of modern and efficient state authorities which will
secure the implementation of the state policy and the rule of law. Crime
must be prosecuted and reduced as much as possible.

We are facing the accelerated completion of modern laws, which will secure
political and economic freedoms and integration with the international
economic developments for our people. Rich resources and a healthy economy,
together with the natural industriousness and independence of our people,
will not produce results unless we can distance ourselves from the previous
socialist system through enactment of new laws.

Therefore, our economic policy is based on an economic recovery of every our
family and its escape from poverty. That implies the privatization of our
state property based on the model which will make sure that the property
will belong to those who produced and defended it. Preparation and enactment
of a privatization law and other laws which will regulate the operation of
the new economic system are the most urgent task, because economic recovery
cannot be based on the previous [socialist] economic and political system.

Honorable parliament,

Our people's expectations are great and justifiably so. Our people did
everything it could. It accepted and followed our policy of protection of
our interests, our policy of preservation of Yugoslavia, our policy of the
establishment of our state and its armed defense. Our people gave its most
handsome, best and most promising part, its youth, for the defense of the
state. Our people fought with small salaries or without any salaries, they
worked in factories, schools, hospitals without salaries, invalids tried to
make ends meet with small stipends of without any assistance, retirees tried
to survive without pensions. The people did all that without grumbling, with
one goal in mind: to build a state and not fail in that goal. Now the people
expects that in the implementation of international agreements we do not
loose that state and to develop that state as a modern state of free and
wealthy people.

We are fortunate that our people entrusted us with such great historic
tasks, the task of formation of a Serb state and further tasks of its
consolidation and development. None of us can complain that history gave him
a small and significant role. Fate was very generous towards our generation,
because it allowed us to live and die for our nation and that our efforts
are rewarded by the definitive redirection of the continuous deterioration
of the Serb people which might have led to our complete destruction in all
our states.

If we complete our historic task, consolidate and strengthen our state,
establish strong links with Serbia and Montenegro, and provide for the free
development of the Serb people, then all our sacrifices and efforts will be

If we do what we have to do, and what our people expects from us than we can
say that we were born with a reason.