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Bosnian Serb, Muslim Generals Surrender to War Crimes Tribunal

  • Roger Wilkison

Two generals who fought on opposite sides during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s have surrendered to the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

Retired General Rasim Delic, the wartime commander of the Bosnian Muslim army, received a rousing send-off from veterans and Muslim officials as he left Sarajevo airport to fly to the Netherlands.

He has been indicted for war crimes committed by foreign Muslim fighters under his command whom prosecutors at The Hague tribunal say murdered several dozen Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat prisoners and raped Bosnian Serb women.

Bosnian Muslim officials have criticized General Delic's indictment, saying it is an attempt by the tribunal to unfairly spread the guilt equally among the three warring parties in the conflict - Serbs, Croats and Muslims.

Most of the more than 120 people the court has indicted for their role during the wars that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia have been ethnic Serbs.

But prosecutors say General Delic, who surrendered to the court voluntarily and says he is innocent of the charges against him, failed to prevent war crimes by his forces.

Also surrendering to the tribunal Monday was a retired Bosnian Serb general, Radovije Miletic, although he left Belgrade for the Netherlands without the fanfare that surrounded General Delic's departure from Sarajevo.

General Miletic was the deputy chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb army and a close associate of one of the most sought after war crimes fugitives, General Ratko Mladic.

General Miletic has been indicted for crimes against humanity by tribunal prosecutors for what they say is his role in the 1995 massacre of several thousand Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica, Europe's worst single atrocity since World War II.

The Serbian government, which facilitated General Miletic's surrender, coaxed another Bosnian Serb general, Milan Gvero, into giving himself up last week and is seeking the surrender of a third general sought by the court in connection with the Srebrenica massacre.

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