Finally – Ratko Mladic Arrested

May 26th, 2011   Articles | Foreign Policy | Serbia | The Balkans | The European Union

Today’s arrest of the Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic is welcomed by numerous leaders in the international community. Ratko Mladic was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 25 July 1995 and was a fugitive from justice for almost 16 years. “Ratko Mladic has been the most wanted ICTY fugitive and his arrest is proof of the readiness of state to fulfill all international obligations as well as those of domestic law ” said Suzana Grubješiæ, Vice President of G17 PLUS – a sisterparty of the JHS. She added that all those accused of the worst war crimes must be brought to justice.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, welcomed the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic as a very important step for justice and regional reconciliation. So did Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament saying:

“I welcome the arrest of Ratko Mladic and congratulate the Serbian authorities. The arrest is good news for Serbia, for the stability of the region and gives new impetus to Serbia’s EU accession process. His arrest is convincing proof of Serbia’s efforts and cooperation with the ICTY.”Jerzy Busek called attention to the fact that a remaining fugitive, Goran Hadzic, is still at large and that “all efforts should be made to arrest Hadzic and bring him to justice”.

In relation to the arrest the ICTY Prosecutor Brammertz stated that the arrest was work well done by “the [Serbian] National Security Council and Serbia’s Action Team … We thank them for meeting their obligations towards the Tribunal and towards justice. We also acknowledge the efforts of the international community in supporting measures to secure Ratko Mladic’s arrest. He added that he believes that the arrest will have a positive impact on reconciliation in the region: “Today is also an important day for international justice. Ratko Mladic’s arrest clearly signals that the commitment to international criminal justice is entrenched. Today’s events show that people responsible for grave violations of international humanitarian law can no longer count on impunity.”

Ratko Mladic is charged with crimes that include:

• the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.

• the murders, persecution, forcible transfer, detention and mistreatment of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the campaign to permanently remove such persons from the territory under the control of the forces of Republika Srpska.

• the terror campaign and the shelling and sniping of civilians in Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces under his command and control which resulted in the killing and wounding of thousands, including many women and children;

• the taking of UN military observers and peacekeeping personnel as hostages in May and June 1995. (source: ICTY)

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