The Serbian government confirmed this morning that it has arrested Ratko Mladic, a former Bosnian Serb army commander and the most-wanted war crimes suspect from the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, during which Bosnian Serb forces, backed by then-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, launched a campaign against the country's Muslim and Croat populations. Serbian President Boris Tadic--who's been criticized for his inability to track Mladic down--says he's planning on extraditing Mladic (pictured above, in 1996) to the U.N.'s international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, which indicted Mladic in 1995 for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The tribunal accuses Mladic of playing a direct role in the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, inflicting terror on civilians during the siege of Sarajevo, and spearheading a campaign of "persecutions, deportation, torture and murders."
The BBC explains that Mladic, who was reportedly arrested in northern Serbia using the assumed name Milorad Komodic, fled the Serbian capital, Belgrade, after the arrest of Milosevic in 2001. Srebrenica, the BBC adds, is considered "the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II." Tadic declared that Mladic's arrest will help foster reconciliation in the Balkans, and it might also further Serbia's bid for European Union membership. The E.U. has predicated Serbia's membership on the arrest, according to the AP.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.