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Center for Balkan Development
Tel: 978-461-0909
Fax: 978-461-2552
[email protected]

CBD Briefs
Vol. 11, No. 1, December, 2005
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Center Launches Campaign to Arrest
Karadzic and Mladic

Ten years is ten years too long for the architects of genocide in Bosnia to still be at large. To coincide with the tenth anniversaries of Srebrenica and the Dayton Accord, CBD has organized an international initiative, �Time for Justice: Campaign to Arrest Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.� Co-sponsored with Physicians for Human Rights, The Advocacy Project, the Coalition for International Justice, the Congress of North American Bosniaks, and the Helsinki Committee in Belgrade, the campaign advocates for the arrests of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic by the anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in Paris on December 14, 2005. By the time this newsletter is printed and distributed, we will know if this deadline has been achieved.

The international campaign was launched in May 2005. Through a web-based petition, the campaign has gathered nearly 10,000 signatures from around the world. The petition has been sent to High Representative Paddy Ashdown; Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO Secretary General; Carla Del Ponte, UN Chief War Crimes Prosecutor; President George W. Bush; and Nicholas Burns, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. CBD has received responses from NATO, OHR, and the ICTY, but to date has not received a formal response from the White House.

The campaign has asked that the Bush Administration:

  • Declare that the arrest of Mladic and Karadzic is a top priority;
  • Allocate specific U.S. intelligence capabilities and military resources to locate and arrest Karadzic and Mladic;
  • Share relevant intelligence with NATO allies and other interested parties to facilitate locating Karadzic and Mladic;
  • Coordinate efforts with NATO and other European counterparts in locating and arresting Karadzic and Mladic;
  • Use sustained diplomatic and economic pressure on Serbia and on the Bosnian Serb Republic in Bosnia to insure their full cooperation with international efforts to arrest Karadzic and Mladic.

�The continued impunity of these two men will only encourage violence against civilians in current and future conflicts, such as the ongoing genocide in Darfur,� said Leonard S. Rubenstein, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization which conducted exhumations at four Srebrenica mass graves in 1996.

At a presentation at the Kennedy School of Government on October 25, Carla Del Ponte, the UN’s Chief War Crimes Prosecutor, assured the audience that the arrests will happen by the end of the year. When asked by CBD Executive Director Glenn Ruga what we can do to persuade Serbia to hand over Mladic, Del Ponte demurred by saying it was a non-issue since she was confident that the arrests will happen.

Congressional Resolutions on Srebrenica
Pass by Overwhelming Majorities

Prior to the July 11 anniversary of Srebrenica, both Houses of Congress passed resolutions condemning the massacres at Srebrenica and emphatically describing them as genocide. Spearheaded by the Congress of North American Bosniaks and the Coalition for International Justice, the resolutions show Congressional support for the issue but are essentially toothless measures but CBD believes that success of the resolutions will help to influence policy makers within the Administration who are in a position to make the arrests a priority.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Commission Ranking Member, praised Congress for passage of House Resolution 199.

“Srebrenica involved the bloodiest atrocities in Europe since the end of the Second World War and we cannot forget what happened,” said Smith. “The fact that the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic backed this brutal act of ethnic cleansing should be a warning to the whole world that even at the end of a bloody century, evil men are still doing evil things and the free world must be on watch and prepared to act.”

“When you look at the Genocide Convention, and when you hear what happened in Srebrenica ten years ago, you can only agree with the Appeals Chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that what happened was genocide,” added Rep. Cardin.

The House Resolution passed 370 - YES votes, 1 - NO vote, and 62 - ABSENT