Ratko Mladic in june 1996 (AP)

It’s strange that Mladic was caught just for the day of the crucial meeting for the EU negotiations. Everybody there knew that he was living in Serbia protected by military, even receiving a pay as a veteran for a while until the assassinated Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, ¿remeber him? that young decided man, the one who wanted to deliver all this people to the Hague and fight the mafias they build in the country and pay that with his life killed by an ex special forces man at the door of the government building?.

This wasn’t a hunt, this was a matter of will. Like it was in the case of Milosevic, (who figured in the records of the Hague tribunal as a “at large” or “not known whereabouts” when he was in office in Belgrade).

This wasn’t the hunt of bin Laden. Above all if he was living in New Belgrade. This smells politics.

And yes, Mladic will face the Court, but that doesn’t mean he will face justice, because what he has done is not resolved yet. Bosnia is not at peace. The country is in trouble, divided, the so-called “Srpska Republika” (Serbian Republic) is still a fortress for many people who supported or participated in actions like Srebrenica. (By de way, it’s funny to see how many problems has another country from the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia, to call itself by its name because of the opposition of the greeks when The authentic and democratic now Serbian Republic permits this other Serbian Republic invented by Karadjic, Mladic an other war criminals use their name without any problem. It makes me laugh (to don’t cry) when I see that words without translation “Srpska Republika” as a way to distinguish it from the real Serbia).

Back to justice: It’s not only Srebrenica it’s the lives of thousands of women and girls systematically raped as a form of ethnic cleansing “to have a Serb child” or sold as a sex slaves to the blue caskets and make them look to the other side meanwhile the radical Serbian guerrilla slaughtered thousands of men and boys non Serbs. There they are their broken lives, the traumatized lives of children, now youngsters, from a non desired and no deserved father, and a single mostly loving and traumatized mother. Is there justice for all that? My sister, also Journalist, made a chilling report after talking and filming many of them. I met some of the children who witnessed the killing or torturing of their parents being six or seven years old. there are no words for describing their glances.

And yes, remember, the radical Serbians during the war in Bosnia didn’t overrun the peacekeepers in Srebrenica, that people didn’t react. they let them do whatever they wanted. They were supposed to keep peace. That means, it seems, not to engage in defending the weak. Not to engage anyway. Too dangerous for them.

You know? Over here (I mean western Europe) everybody talks about justice and against you, violent Americans, but when there is a problem and it’s dangerous, they expect you, the Americans to go to do the dirty job on the ground, and then after that is done and the way is cleared, they will graciously and willingly go to keep peace, with orders to don’t engage in battle. No danger of war crimes, no casualties, no “collateral damages” to worry about. Only that this people in Bosnia seemed to don’t count as anything. That was what happened there. And that is said by a pacifist who hate wars because my direct family has lived three: The WWI (my grandparents), the WWII (my parents and my older sister) and the Balkans war (me as a journalist and the rest of the family as a suffering civil people). We were divided by the borders in opposite sides, we had casualties and we were a family of intellectuals, writers, journalists, historians, musicians, nothing to do with politics. So complicated is that little piece of land.

So, a big hunt finally done? I don’t think so

Is Justice done? I doubt it

It’s better to have Mladic in Jail than to have him free?, Yes, that’s sure

But, Why would he not be delivered first (with the proper protection) to a Bosnian Judge and Jury in Sarajevo or Srebrenica (yes, bring him there to face their victims), or the others villages and cities in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Croatia where he commanded ethnic cleansing bombings and killings and other actions of the kind?

Why give him now the opportunity to make his show to the world from the Hague as Milosevic did for months to no end and no result, because he never will be sentenced?

And, will Serbia enter de EU after this “in extremis” deliver? Sure. England and France are waiting for that too much time. and delayed the entrance of Croatia too much time to make a “package” with both countries and follow the politics of put both of them at the same level  forgetting what leader launched the war and the invasions after the first democratic elections in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia following that “Great Serbia” promise to his poor and depressed people. If that mean peace, welcome. But I don’t think it will be a durable peace until the situation in Bosnia (and Kosovo) is stabilized and by now it’s not.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Justice, World and Politics


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