Butcher of Bosnia
Byline: The Register-Guard
Justice delayed is not justice denied for long-suffering Bosnian Muslims and Croats. But the arrest of Radovan Karadzic comes 13 years too late to offer any hope of reuniting Bosnia and curbing the nationalist forces that have forced its ethnic partitioning.
Still the importance of the arrest of Bosnian Serbs' notorious wartime leader should not be under estimated. For the beleaguered people of this region, the arrest brings long-overdue closure. As the president of the breakaway Serb region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Karadzic orchestrated some of the worst atrocities of the Bosnian war.
From 1992 to 1996 he ordered the mass slaughter of Muslims and Croats in Bosnia - the worst massacres in Europe since World War II. In 1995, Karadzic and his military commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, ordered the execution of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, which was supposed to have been a safe haven protected by U.N. peacekeepers. Karadzic also masterminded the infamous siege of Sarajevo, which killed at least 10,000 civilians.
Karadzic's arrest is a victory for international justice and the still-emerging International Criminal Court. Even though it took 13 years, his capture sends a chilling message to tyrants such as Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, whom the ICC recently indicted for genocide in Darfur.
The arrest of Karadzic nudges Serbia closer to membership in the European Union, which already has admitted Slovenia and granted candidate status to other parts of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia and Macedonia. …