A few years ago I stumbled across the fact that two indicted war criminals from the former Yugoslavia were still at large, that being Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. The reason I say, "stumbled across" is because the mainstream media has apparently decided to wait until they are actually arrested before they devote any ink/air time to this story, aside from the occasional blip.
In case you haven't been following this, these two darlings are primarily responsible for a series of "ethnic cleansing" operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina that claimed the lives of thousands of (mostly) Muslims, most notably in Srebrenica, even while it was a declared "Safe Zone" of the United Nations.
*cross-posted from dailykos*, where I fear it has already been forgotten.
It didn't take long for me to figure out why these two had escaped capture for so long. There is apparently a very strong ultra-nationalist movement in Serbia, and these guys are considered heroes. Not only are they being harbored, but Karadzic has also enjoyed quite the success as a published author of children's books (!), and his novel The Miraculous Chronicle Of The Night was short-listed for Serbia's top literary "Golden Sunflower" award.
As disgusting as that is, it's not what motivated this diary. Tonight, as I was doing my quarterly (I'm just guessing) Google hunt for info on these guys, I came across this letter that Tribunal Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte addressed to the U.N. Security Council a few weeks ago:
Mr. President, Excellencies,
Eight years ago, when I was appointed Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia , we were living in a different world, in which international justice and the Tribunal had a long way to go. Who would have thought, at that time, that we would see the arrest of a former head of State? Since then, international justice and the International Tribunal have made considerable progress. Indeed, in the course of my two mandates as Prosecutor, we have secured the arrest of 91 individuals.
In mid-September my mandate as Prosecutor of the International Tribunal will end. It is therefore the last time I address the Security Council in this capacity. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and my thanks for the support that you have provided to the Tribunal, to international justice, and to myself.
As I'm reading this I'm wondering who will get the job after Carla goes back to...Italy, I'm presuming. But I keep seeing this phrase that starts the hair on the back of my neck to stand up:
You will have received my written assessment on the Completion Strategy. I will now highlight a few points set out in the report and address recent developments which have occurred since the issuance of the written report.
While trials and appeals are progressing and nearing completion, there is a sense that an important degree of justice will have been brought to the victims of the conflicts that raged throughout the region. However, many victims will feel that this was not enough. They will be right. There are numerous mid- and lower-level perpetrators that could not be tried in The Hague because of the International Tribunal's Completion Strategy. I have been working intensely with authorities in Belgrade , Sarajevo , Zagreb and Skopje to transfer knowledge and evidence we possess pertaining to hundreds of other suspects. Although we have seen some progress in domestic prosecutions, I advise the international community to remain vigilant.
If this is what I think it is...holy f**king shit. If Serbia hasn't lifted a finger to bring these guys to the Hague for all these years, the U.N. expects them to finish the job?
This can't be happening.
If any of our U.S. Representatives are reading this, whatever your party affiliation, please bring this to the floor.