The Sofia Echo, Dec 7 2010
The co-operation of states is vital in bringing to justice those responsible for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and in facilitating the successful completion of the United Nations tribunals mandated with this task, the UN Security Council was told on December 6 2010, the UN News Service said.
Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), said that Serbia’s failure to capture the two remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadžic, is a major concern.
“Serbia must bridge the gap between its stated commitment to the arrests and the effectiveness of its operations on the ground,” he told the Council, as it met to consider the work of the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
“Time is passing and we are not seeing results,” he said. “Serbia needs to adopt a more pro-active approach to arresting fugitives.”
Since its inception 17 years ago, the Tribunal, which is based in The Hague, has indicted 161 persons for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The proceedings against 125 individuals have been completed. Only two indictees remain at large – Mladic and Hadžic.
The failure to arrest Mladic and Hadžic would leave the victims without redress, as well as impede reconciliation in the region and damage the credibility of the international legal system as a whole, Brammertz said.