21 Jul Karadzic Captured! (Updated)
AFP is reporting that Radovan Karadzic, the former president of Republika Srpska and the former head of the euphemistically named Serb Democratic Party, has been arrested. This is great news — if the ICTY had a “most wanted” deck of cards, Karadzic would be the Ace of Spades:
As early as July 1991, the Bosnian Serb leaders, and in particular, Radovan Karadzic, sought to take control of those regions in Bosnia-Herzegovina which had been declared as integral parts of the Serb Republic. They took great pains to create inhuman living conditions for the non-Serb population engulfing them in terror in order to push them into leaving these areas Those who refused were either forced to leave or were murdered. Up until the end of the month of November such persecutions and expulsions were carried out with increasing frequency.
[A]round the 6 July 1995, the Bosnian Serb forces on orders from Radovan Karadzic, bombarded Srebrenica and attacked the UN observation posts situated in the “security zone”. On 11 July they entered the town. Those Muslims present in the enclave – several thousands of men women and children – then took refuge in the United Nations compound at Potocari inside the “security zone”. The following day the Bosnian Serb forces separated the men from the women and children and put them into detention centres. Between the 11 and the 18 July the men were executed in massive numbers.
On the arrival of the Serbian forces in the enclave, another group of around 15’000 Muslims, mainly men, decided to flee in order to get to Tuzla through the woods. Thousands of them were captured by the Serb forces and summarily executed. The remaining Muslim population was expelled by force from Srebrenica en masse, leaving it totally devoid of any Muslim presence.
The SDS and governmental authorities opened up camps and detention centres for non-Serbs, guarded by members of the army and the police under the high command of the Serb authorities and notably that of Radovan Karadzic. Muslims and Bosnian Croats were held there under inhuman conditions in an atmosphere of constant terror created by widespread physical, moral and sexual violence .Thousands of prisoners died as a result of these barbaric acts or were summarily executed.
Between the 1 April 1992 and the 30 November 1995, the Bosnian Serb forces, acting under the direction and command of Radovan Karadzic, also led an attack against Sarajevo from vantage points in the town and the surrounding area. The town was put under blockade and subjected to bombardments and weapons fire causing thousands of civilian victims amongst which were children and old people. This siege lasted for 44 months and established a climate of terror amongst the inhabitants of the town, whose everyday existence became a struggle to survive. Without gas, electricity or running water, the inhabitants were compelled to venture outside at great risk to their lives to stock up on necessities.
I’ll update the post as information comes in. You’re next, Ratko Mladic!
UPDATE: Serge Brammertz, the ICTY’s new Chief Prosecutor, has congratulated “the National Security Council, Serbia’s Action Team in charge of tracking fugitives and the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor” for the arrest, which took place in Serbia. That is even better news, because it indicates that Serbia’s President, Boris Tadic, is serious about joining the European Union. The EU has repeatedly conditioned Serbia’s membership on its ability to capture Karadzic and Mladic.