Today is supposed to mark the start of the trial of Radovan Karadzic, accused of 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Undoubtedly there will be twists and turns, Karadzic will be playing the International Criminal Court for all he is worth. He is unlikely to turn up, will refuse to recognise the courts jurisdiction, will claim he hasn't had enough time to prepare his defence and will be doing all in his power to discredit the court and drag the trial out indeterminably.
I will write a post at some point talking about the trial and how people feel about it here. It is, as you can imagine, a contentious issue. Some people passionately feel that the trial is needed; to establish what happened, to create a legally recognised truth that can't be twisted by every side to suit its own agendas. Others feel that it is important that those responsible for creating the events of the 1992-95 conflict are held to account, made to take responsibility for their actions. On the other hand there are some who would rather that the events of the war were placed firmly in the past, and who wonder if whether another trial highlighting Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo serves to keep Bosnia firmly orientated towards its conflict years, preventing them from looking towards the future. Of course there are also those who vehemently protest against the proceedings, claiming them to be unfair and illegitimate.
But the start of the trial, coming as it does as the various political Bosnian leaders are trying (or not trying so much) to establish how the country can move forward out of the political molasses pit that they seem to have found themselves in, will put Bosnia back onto the global news agenda. Whilst most people here think that the articles in The Telegraph and Time Magazine claiming that Bosnia is once again on the brink of war, to be an exaggeration of the situation and a strategic move by the internatinal community to put pressure upon the Bosnian politicians, there is definitely a sense that this is a crucial moment in post war Bosnia. Suddenly people who usually ignore the political shenanigans are talking about it. There are rumours about some people rearming themselves (but then again, there are always rumours about people rearming themselves).
These next couple of months will be interesting times for Bosnia. And now I am starting to understand why it is that the Chinese saying 'may you live in interesting times' is understood to be a curse.