Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Karadzic caught

News just recently came in: master war criminal Radovan Karadzic has been arrested.

Karadzic, the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs in the 90s, has been variously described as a genocidal maniac and one of the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century. He was responsible for the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre, killing about 10,000 and 7,000 civilians respectively, and 20,000 rapes, all in the name of carving out a greater Serbia.

He'd been on the run for about 13 years after the war in Bosnia ended. Despite substantial pressure from the international community, it was beyond doubt that Serbian politicians and the military were sheltering him.

It would be satisfying to say the international justice "system" works well, but it was likely that the biggest carrot was the European Union. Joining the union brings clear prosperity, but the EU refused to enter into discussions with Serbia until Karadzic (and his general Ratko Mladic) were handed to the UN war crimes tribunal.

Despite the long-standing vicious and paranoid nature of the Serbian authorities (as in "the whole world is out to get us, we have to kill to survive"), I expected it to be a matter of time before Karadzic was handed in. It can't be too surprising that it took so long. To be optimistic, it could send a signal to mass murdering leaders that they can't get away forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would be ironic if in fact it was the very aptly named Ratko Mladic who dobbed him in, as is rumoured. Apparently Mladic may have been trying to buy himself time to get away, by giving up his mate.