Two of the most wanted Serb war criminals, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, are believed to be in Serbia. John Clint Williamson, US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, stated the following in an interview on Monday,
“The latest information about their whereabouts tells us that Mladic was in Serbia and that there are strong indications that Karadzic was in that state too” (“US Diplomat: Karadzic and Mladic in Serbia,” Balkan Insight, 14 July 2008).
General Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic were leading figures in the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina between 1992 and 1995. Karadzic founded the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) in Bosnia-Hercegovina and was President of the Republika Srpska from 17 December 1992 until his resignation on 19 July 1996. Radovan Karadzic is held responsible for the shelling of Sarajevo and both men are held responsbile for the massacre at Srebrenica, where 7500 men and boys were murdered in July 1995 (Profile of Karadzic, Profile of Mladic). They have been indicted twice for genocide and charged with crimes against humanity, however, they have not yet been brought to justice.
Their indictments state,
“Mr Karadzic and Mr Mladic are responsible for the unlawful confinement, murder, rape and inhumane treatment of the civilian population in Bosnia-Hercegovina,” (“Karadzic and Mladic: The Charges,” BBC News, 9 June 2005).
Furthermore, Karadzic and Mladic detained Bosnian Muslims and Croats in camps such as Omarska, Keraterm and Luka, where they were tortured or murdered. Women in camps were often raped repeatedly. However, sexual violence against women was not included in Karadzic and Mladic’s indictments until the International Criminal Tribunal for [the former] Yugoslavia (ICTY) produced subsequent amended versions–such as the following:
In the detention facilities, Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb males and females suffered egregious, inhumane conditions on a daily basis. Detainees were deprived of adequate nutrition, adequate medical care, hygienic sanitation facilities, and were forced to endure inhumane accommodations. The detainees subsisted in an atmosphere of constant terror fostered by random brutality. Physical violence, mental suffering, sexual violence and other degrading and humiliating circumstances that constituted fundamental attacks on their humanity were repeatedly inflicted upon the detainees; (COUNT 7 (Persecutions), Amended Indictment of Karadzic, 31 May 2000).
For many, the anger and wounds of the past cannot be cleansed until transitional justice is attained. This requires Karadzic and Mladic to be put on trial in the Hague.
Posted By Nicole Slezak
Posted Jul 14th, 2007