Subscribe to RSSTHe Week
Construction for nat'l games to finish in 4 days
Do not entertain illegal Tibetans, says Chinese expert on Tibetology
SRC report to be first discussed in thematic committee
Gupta repeats Madhes may break ties with Kathmandu
SC stays Gachchhadar's citizenship fiat
Govt to bust brokers at Kalimati veg market
Govt, Maoists to be blamed if country blacklisted: UML
My Republica e-Paper.
Market
  Jobs
  Forex
  Stocks
  Cinema
 
Phalano by Rajesh KC
Cartoon Archive »  

Republica, Nagarik News
Archives
  Daily News
  Photo Gallery
  UCPN (Maoist) 6th Plenum
  Govt Policies & Programs
  Budget 2009/10 Speech
Sunday WEATHER
KATHMANDU

Low o
High o
Sunrise N/A
Sunset N/A
 
 
  Serbia arrests wartime military chief Mladic: president  
 

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

BELGRADE, May 26: Serbia announced the arrest of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic on Thursday, ending a 16-year manhunt for the general accused of masterminding Europe´s worst massacre since World War II.

President Boris Tadic confirmed reports that the 69-year-old had been detained by Serbian security forces, saying the capture would bolster Serbia´s "moral credibility in the world".

"Today, early in the morning, we arrested Ratko Mladic," the president told a press conference in Belgrade.

"The extradition process is underway," he added, referring to the process to transfer Mladic to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a UN tribunal based in The Hague.

"Today we close one chapter, a chapter in our history, which brings us ... one step closer to full reconciliation in the region," Tadic added.

Mladic, the most wanted fugitive from the ICTY, faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the Srebrenica massacre and the bloody siege of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 conflict.

Tadic would not say how and where Mladic was arrested other than the confirm he was captured on Serbian soil.

But Serbian security sources told AFP that three special units swooped on a house in Lazarevo around 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Belgrade and close to the Romanian border early Thursday.

The house was owned by a relative of Mladic and had been under surveillance for the past two weeks, one of the sources added.

It is not known where Mladic is now but according to the Serbian procedures he is due to appear before the special war crimes court to get the extradition process started. It could take as much as a week before he is extradited.

His arrest follows heavy pressure from the European Union which has made clear that Serbia´s failure to capture Mladic was a major obstacle to its hopes of joining the 27-nation bloc.

In his press conference, Tadic stressed that the arrest had come about as "a result of the full cooperation with the Hague war time tribunal".

"I am convinced that this way we have opened the door to candidacy status and negotiations and finally to EU membership," he said.

Reacting to the arrest, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Mladic must now be transferred to The Hague "without delay."

"The arrest of Ratko Mladic is a very positive development for the European Union, for Serbia´s neighbours, but most of all for the rule of law in Serbia itself," Ashton´s spokesman said.

A senior United States official also said that Washington was "delighted" by the arrest.

Earlier in the day, it had emerged that the special prosecutor for the ICTY had again accused Belgrade in a new report of not doing enough to capture Mladic and the former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic.

The report by the prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, was seen as crucial to Serbia´s hopes of being made an official EU candidate nation by the end of this year.

In a statement after the arrest was announced, Brammertz said the arrest of Mladic meant Serbia had "fulfilled one of its international obligations".

The Bosnian Serb wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic, Mladic´s mentor, was captured in July 2008 and he is currently on trial in The Hague.

Mladic´s capture ends a tortuous political and judicial saga since he was first indicted by the ICTY for his leadership role in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war as the former Yugoslavia fell apart.

The indictment against him specifically cites the establishment of camps and detention centres for Bosnian Muslims as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing, as well as the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre and the 44-month siege of Sarajevo.

At Srebrenica, which had been under nominal UN protection, 8,000 Muslim men and boys were rounded up and massacred in Europe´s worst atrocity since World War II.

"After 16 years of waiting ... this is a relief," Hajra Catic, head of the Srebrenica Women association, told AFP after the arrest.

"For us, this is really very important," added Catic whose son and husband were killed in the massacre.

The UN indictment says Mladic was the operational mastermind behind the slaughter, the only episode during the bloody Bosnian war that was ruled a genocide by the court.

Mladic was able to evade capture for almost 16 years since his indictment in 1995, notably thanks to a years-long lack of political will in Belgrade and his status to many Serbs as a war hero.

He lived almost openly in Belgrade until 2000 when former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, was ousted from office. The ouster of his one-time mentor robbed Mladic of his untouchable status.

Even afterwards, though, Mladic hid under military protection, authorities in Serbia have admitted.

 
Published on 2011-05-26 16:45:41
# # Share [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

 

PLEASE DESIST FROM ATTACKING THE WRITER PERSONALLY AND BE RESPECTFUL TO OTHER READERS.

Please give your full name while posting your comments. This is not to stifle the free flow of comments but your full name will enable us to print the comments in our newspaper.

 

Serbia Arrests Wartime Military Chief Mladic: President
Comment on this news #
Name
Email
Comments
   
752
 
   
 
 
Related News
More on International
LATEST COMMENTS
What do you say Pushpa Kamal Dahal ? [more]
  - Chandra Limbu
About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise with us  |  Career   |  Terms of use  |  Privacy policy
 
Copyright © Nepal Republic Media Pvt. Ltd. 2008-10.