News / Europe

Europe’s Most Wanted Criminal Ratko Mladic Arrested

General Ratko Mladic (c) arrives at special court in Belgrade, May 26, 2011
General Ratko Mladic (c) arrives at special court in Belgrade, May 26, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Analysis by Refik Hodzic from the International Center for Transnational Justice

Former Bosnian-Serb military leader Ratko Mladic has been arrested on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war in the early 1990s.

Ratko Mladic was one of Europe’s most wanted war crimes fugitives.  He has been on the run for more than 15 years, since he was indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal at The Hague in 1995.

Now the long wait for his arrest is over.

Arrest details

Serbia’s President Boris Tadic would not say how or where Mladic was arrested.  But he did say the capture had taken place on Serbian soil.  He said a stain had been removed from Serbia.

“Today we closed one chapter of our recent history that will bring us one step closer to full reconciliation in the region,” Tadic said.

Mladic is a former Bosnian-Serb general.  During the Bosnian war in the early 1990s he oversaw the siege of Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, which lasted more than three years and is the longest in the history of modern warfare.

Listen to analysis by Refik Hodzic, the director of communications for the International Center for Transnational Justice

He’s also accused of having played a key role in the bloody attack in 1995 of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed in Europe’s worst massacre of civilians since the Second World War.

War crimes

Mladic is the last of three top Serbian leaders wanted for war crimes.  At The Hague, where Mladic is due to be extradited, he will join Bosnian-Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who was captured in 2008.  Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic died in custody before his trial ended.

But Amnesty International justice expert Marek Marczynsky says the trial of Mladic may finally bring some closure.

“The victims of those terrible crimes have tried to access justice, truth, and reparation, and Ratko Mladic is a symbol of those crimes,” Marczynksy said. "He is of course not the only one.  There are thousands of perpetrators still waiting to be prosecuted.”



Life in hiding


The capture of Mladic has taken a long time because, Marczynksy says, he was protected by some of those who still hold power in Serbia.  It was because of international pressure, he says, that the arrest was finally made.  

“When the European Union started pushing for those arrests, for investigations and for prosecutions, finally after some time we could see some results,” Marczynksy said.

Mladic’s arrest was welcomed by international leaders.  NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Mladic had played a “key role” in some of the “darkest episodes of Balkan and European history”.

Mladic’s arrest was a precondition of Serbia joining the European Union.  Now with him heading to The Hague, the country may be one step closer to that aim.


Ratko Mladic on Dipity.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs