Serbian police have arrested Serbia's highest ranking war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic. Reports of the arrest were confirmed by Serbian President Boris Tadic at a press conference on Thursday.
Ratko Mladic - fact sheet
- Genocide, complicity in genocide
- Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, extermination, murder, deportation (crimes against humanity)
Find the official ICTY factsheet
Serbia must arrest Mladic, a former Bosnian Serb General sought by the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and war crime during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, if it wants to join the European Union.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has welcomed the arrest of Ratko Mladic. He said:
"As Bosnian Serb military commander, General Mladic played a key role in some of the darkest episodes of Balkan and European history, including the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of thousands of Bosnian men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. Almost sixteen years since his indictment for genocide and other war crimes, his arrest finally offers a chance for justice to be done."
General Mladic is held responsible for is the massacre of 7,000 men and boys in 1995 taken from the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia, which was protected by Dutchbat. The Dutch battalion was charged with protecting Muslims from ethnic cleansing in the safe enclave as part of UNPROFOR (the UN peacekeeping force in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav wars).
On 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces entered Srebrenica without resistance from the Dutch troops. The Dutch army - overwhelmed by the heavily armed Serbs - withdrew to its base in Potočari, followed by thousands of refugees. On 13 July, men and boys were separated from women and children in the camp before the eyes of the Dutch soldiers. They were taken away in busses and never seen alive again. Many of the bodies have still not been found or identified. The massacre has gone down as one of the blackest incidents in Dutch military history.
A report on the fall of Srebrenica caused the Dutch government under then prime minister Wim Kok to resign in 2002.