Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic eluded the long arm of global justice for 16 years. Apparently, Ratko's entire time on the run was spent in his relatively compact homeland. For the past 16 years, Serbia’s failure to extradite indicted war criminals has hampered its standing with the international community, but Westward-leaning president Boris Tadic apparently wants to change all that.
Last Thursday, one of the world's longest, least-efficient manhunts ended with an arrest in the northern Serbian village of Lazarevo. The helicopter in the photo is believed to be delivering Mladic to the Hague's Scheveningen prison.
Mladic will face the U.N. war crimes tribunal on Friday and answer to genocide charges and 10 other counts, many stemming from the three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
"He was the most powerful military figure in Bosnia during the war," said chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz. "He’s charged with crimes that shock the conscience of the international community. These crimes symbolize the brutality of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
Is Brammertz trying to earn a reputation for understatement? These conscience-shocking crimes symbolize not only the brutality of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but of war as we fight it.