News / Europe

Serbia Marks 10th Anniversary of Milosevic Ouster

Serbian President Boris Tadic (File Photo)
Serbian President Boris Tadic (File Photo)

Serbian President Boris Tadic says the October 2000 uprising that led to the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic marks the moment democracy began taking hold in his country.

Mr. Tadic spoke Tuesday in Belgrade, at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of Milosevic's fall from power. He said Serbia has accomplished much since then, including movement toward entry into the European Union. He told the conference in Belgrade he hopes to start EU membership talks by the end of 2012.

Serbia applied for EU membership last year. One hindrance has been Belgrade's failure to arrest fugitive wartime Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who faces war crimes charges from the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Mladic remains at large, and is thought to be hiding in Serbia or in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina.

His wartime boss, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, is currently on trial in The Hague on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

An estimated half-million people rallied in Belgrade on October 5, 2000 to force Milosevic to accept his defeat in elections held a week earlier. Protesters stormed parliament and the headquarters of state television. Hours later, the Yugoslav state news agency Tanjug announced that opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica was the president-elect.

Milosevic remained under virtual house arrest until 2001, when he was extradited to a U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague on genocide charges stemming from the Balkan wars. He died in a prison cell in 2006 during his trial.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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