Two former U.S. secretaries of state welcome the arrest of war-time
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic who stands accused on 13 counts of
genocide and other war crimes. They tell VOA's Ivana Kuhar Karadzic's arrest will help Serbia move towards European integration.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who spoke to VOA on the phone,
said the arrest of Radovan Karadžic is a major step toward
reconciliation in the Balkans. "Well, I think it is a huge event, a
watershed event. It should have happened as long time ago, but the fact
that it has in fact happened, is very important for the Bosnian people
and those who suffered as a result of Karadzic's policies," she said.
topped the most wanted list of the International war Crimes Tribunal
for Former Yugoslavia. He is under indictment for a long list of
gruesome war crimes, including genocide and organizing the longest
siege in modern day history - the 44-month blockade of Sarajevo.
Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush, Lawrence
Eagleburger, says Karadžic's arrest represents a major step forward
for international justice. "I think he's one of the last of a really
miserable bunch that is still at large. He's not the only one but he's
probably, with the arrest and then later the death of [Slobodan]
Milosevic, I think he's probably the man who most deserves to be caught
He topped the war crimes court's most wanted
list, along with his Bosnian-Serb military chief Ratko Mladiæ and the
former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadžiæ. Those two are still on the
European Union officials Tuesday said the arrest of Radovan
Karadžic could clear the way for Serbia's membership in the 27-nation
Eagleburger says the arrest will help Serbia in its bid
to rejoin the world community. "If Serbia was to get back into the good
graces of the world community and of western Europeans and the U.S.,
and particularly the U.S., I think it was a question they realized they
were going to have to do something about."
agrees, and says the arrest shows the pro-Western government in
Belgrade is ready to break with Serbia's nationalistic past. "I hope
very much that the election of President [Boris] Tadic was the one that
was based on the idea that they wanted to move forward and not look
backward and I think it will be interesting to see how the vast
majority of the Serbian people react to this. There clearly are those
that are ultranationalists, that have already voiced their opposition
but I believe that the Serbian people want to move forward," she said.
1992-1995 war for Bosnia's independence left over 100,000 people dead
and as many as two million displaced. According to a report by the
Central Intelligence Agency, the vast majority of the war crimes in
those years were committed by Bosnian Serbs.
Radovan Karadžic is expected to be extradited to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.