IN OTHER WORDS
When the president of Bosnian Serbs in the 1990s was arrested Monday on genocide charges, it was a milestone not just for Serbia’s bid for respectability in Europe but also for the international cause of bringing accused war criminals to justice. The UN war crimes tribunal indicted Radovan Karadzic 13 years ago. By arresting Karadzic in a Belgrade suburb, the Serbian government won stripes for it and the tribunal.
Karadzic’s capture comes just two weeks after a new, pro-Western government took power in Belgrade. According to government spokesmen, police came upon Karadzic while on the hunt for the other major accused Bosnian Serb war criminal, army commander Ratko Mladic. An arrest of Mladic would be the final confirmation of the new government’s commitment to ending the dark chapter of the 1990s.
The US diplomat who brokered the talks, Richard Holbrooke, has described Karadzic as more of a “real racist believer” than Mladic or Milosevic. In the first years after Karadzic’s indictment, however, neither NATO nor the Balkans made any serious move to capture him. To the credit of the Serbian nation, it is their own government that recognises that the country’s brightest hopes lie in embracing the values of today’s Europe — not in the ethnic cleansing and death camps of the 1990s. — The Boston Globe