After hiding for sixteen years Ratko Mladic may face the Hague
Following the break-up of Yugoslavia, there was a bitter war in which ethnic Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats fought for their own states. The individual armies embarked on the process of ‘ethnic cleansing’ – killing those from different ethnic backgrounds. The Bosnian War raged from 1992-95. The number of dead will never be confirmed, but the official toll – as of 2010 – puts the figure at just above 100,000.
There have been sightings of Mladic throughout the last decade and a half – leading many to believe that the Serbs have protected him from the international court because of strong domestic support. For many ethnic Serbs, their war leader is still a hero. However the arrest of Mladic was set as a prerequisite for talks that could enable Serbia to join the EU. Many feel that this is why he was finally arrested. For a few days following his arrest it was thought that his poor health would prevent him from standing trial at the Hague – where the International Criminal Court (ICC) sits. However after a brief hearing in Belgrade it was announced that he would be extradited. Whether justice is ever served remains to be seen, but at least it is a tiny step closer.