Wednesday 13 December 2017

War criminals and justice

Yesterday's arrest of Ratko Mladic, commander of the Bosnian Serb forces during the wars that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia and alleged mastermind of the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, was long overdue.

While Mladic remained at liberty the credibility of the UN's War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague was in jeopardy. No matter how severe the punishment meted out to his accomplices, justice could only be seen to be done when Mladic appeared in the dock to answer the charges against him.

Now that all of the major alleged perpetrators of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia have been captured, the focus must shift to some of the world's other trouble spots. Rank or position, no matter how exalted, must be no barrier to having to answer for crimes.

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