"There are so many! It is going to be a feast. There will be blood up to your knees.” Ratko Mladic, Serbian Military General on finding Bosnian Muslims men, Serbrenica Massacre
On May 26, Europe’s biggest killer, a war criminal (as declared by the United Nations), a man responsible for the ‘calculated’ extermination of Bosnian Muslims, Ratko Mladic, was finally caught.
He’s called the Butcher of Bosnia. In the summer of 1995, Ratko Mladic, massacred, butchered and murdered around 8,000 unarmed Bosnian Muslim men and boys in the woods surrounding Srebrenica. What went on in those woods is a harrowing tale – something as monstrous and ugly as the man who’d ordered it. Thousands of Bosnian men and boys, some as young as 12, were systematically eliminated. They were separated out for ‘interrogation’ for suspected war crimes by Serbs – Ratko Mladic was the Serbian Military Leader.
The comparisons that are being put forward to Mladic should not be with Bin Laden, but rather, with Adolf Hitler – the man who exterminated Jews based on his agenda. Ratko Mladic, well-deservedly attained the title of Europe’s worst killer after Hitler’s extermination of the Jews. In 5 days, Mladic wiped off more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims – all of them, males. At the same time Mladic led a 4-year siege of Sarajevo, the longest siege in modern history – nearly 10,000 died at the hands of the Serb army.
“All who wish to go will be transported, large and small, young and old. Don't be afraid, just take it easy. Let the women and children go first ... No one will harm you.”Ratko Mladic, Serbian Military General
16 years after being on the run and hiding, 69 year old Mladic was caught by Serbian Special Forces from a compound in Serbia. He is indicted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity by the ICJ. But even after indictment from the International Court of Justice, Mladic remained hidden and free – presumably with the help of the Serb Secret Service. But no more.
"On behalf of the Republic of Serbia we announce that Ratko Mladic has been arrested," Boris Tadic, the Serbian President told the gathered press. "Today we closed one chapter of our recent history that will bring us one step closer to full reconciliation in the region."
The real questions now arise are those that are related with matters of justice and law. Or will the trial conducted by The Hague be any different from that of Slobodan Milosevic? Why you ask? Take a look at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Serbia and Yugoslavia who was indicted for the Kosovo war by the ICTY for crimes against humanity. Arrested in 2001, Milosevic died in his cell, months before the verdict was due, at The Hague in 2006 – is that how you give justice for the thousands dead?
Closure is the word many use when it comes to Ratko Mladic being caught, but really, would the word ever describe the pain of the families who lost their loved ones?
That it is good news that a man, responsible for so many atrocities would be finally brought to justice, is of no doubt. But no matter how transparent, it is doubtful that a trial will ever bring satisfaction to the ones who lost their brothers, their husbands, their sons and their fathers. It is unlikely that there would ever be any satisfaction for the thousands of women who cry beside coffins and pray for their missing family members.
What happens now in the ICJ, remains to be seen. Mladic, was an army general who claimed that he presented the town of Srebrenica as a ‘gift to the Serb nation’ and who once urged the Serbian soldiers to ‘burn the brains’ of Sarajevo residents. It is unlikely that any kind of sentence will be enough for a man like Mladic, but that he is behind bars and on trial, is likely to bring some sort of hope to those whose families were murdered.
Please login to add to favorites
Already added to favorites
Added as Favorite