Serbian police have arrested former Bosnian general Ratko Mladic, the accused war criminal allegedly responsible for the execution of at least 7,000 Muslim prisoners over a six-day period in 1995. News reports say he was living under an assumed name in Vojvodina, the Serbian province north of Belgrade.
The White House released a statement from President Obama saying Mladic’s arrest marked “an important day for the families of Mladic’s many victims, for Serbia, for Bosnia, for the United States, and for international justice.”
Mladic will be handed over to the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The following are some excerpts from his indictment:
On 8 March 1995, Radovan KARADZIC, as the Supreme Commander of the VRS, issued Operational Directive 07, which directed the VRS to eliminate the Muslim enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, in furtherance of the “strategic objectives” of 12 May 1992. On 2 July 1995, Bosnian Serb Forces under the command and control of General Ratko MLADIC attacked the Srebrenica enclave. This attack on the enclave continued until 11 July 1995, when General Ratko MLADIC and the Bosnian Serb Forces entered Srebrenica. Subsequently, those Bosnian Serb Forces terrorised Bosnian Muslims, who were forcibly transferred to areas outside the enclave and many of whom fled in a huge column through the woods towards Tuzla. The majority of this group consisted of unarmed military personnel and civilians.
Between 12 July and about 20 July 1995, thousands of Bosnian Muslim men were captured by, or surrendered to, Bosnian Serb Forces under the command and control of General Ratko MLADIC. Over 7,000 Bosnian Muslim prisoners captured in the area around Srebrenica were summarily executed from 13 July to 19 July 1995. Killings continued thereafter. From about 1 August 1995 through about 1 November 1995, VRS units under the command and control of General Ratko MLADIC participated in an organised and comprehensive effort to conceal the killings and executions of the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica by reburying, in isolated locations, bodies exhumed from mass graves.