Karadzic Has Much to Answer, but also Much to Tell
By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey
Radovan Karadzic’s arrest is hopeful news in achieving closure to a dark chapter but hopefully also a fresh beginning for the truth finally reaching transparency. Karadzic could not have committed genocide and grave violations of international humanitarian law without the indifference, acquiescence, complicity or active engagement of others. President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia was indicted and put on trial for his active engagement in the genocide of Bosniaks, (Bosnian Muslims), in Bosnia & Herzegovina, (BiH). He died, unfortunately, in his prison cell before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, could render its final judgment. Justice and the whole truth were at least in part cheated.
We now look for a new trial to bring to light about how Karadzic, as self appointed President of Republika Srpska, was not confronted when he committed grave crimes and genocide in BiH, and particularly the UN “safe area” and NATO “protected zone” of Srebrenica. There was at least indifference to much of what happened, but there is also much evidence of acquiescence or a “deal” to give Milosevic, Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic the “green light” to assault Srebrenica in order to satisfy their territorial appetite in realizing the “Greater Serbia.” Perhaps this was the price that Milosevic, Karadzic, and Mladic demanded to agree to the Dayton Accords. And perhaps some were at least reckless in abandoning this safe area and acquiescing or being complicit in the creation of an ethnically cleansed and engineered territory. How is it that Karadzic remained free for so long, and was there another deal? We can only hope that Karadzic does not meet the same fate as Milosevic before justice and the truth have an opportunity to be satisfied.
We should also emphasize that General Ratko Mladic continues to enjoy enough protection to continue avoiding, not evading, arrest. He has lived in Belgrade more or less openly, according to former and current ICTY officials. He was the executioner of Srebrenica and many other small and big towns in BiH, as the head of the Serbian forces in BiH. The ICTY is correct in continuing to demand Mladic’s arrest from the Belgrade government, pointing out that Mladic continues to enjoy protection of at least some authorities in Serbia.
Finally, while Radovan Karadzic is hopefully about to meet justice, the entity which he engineered through genocide is still very much uninterrupted and continues to be propped up as an ethnically purified Republika Srpska. It is hypocrisy to judge Karadzic guilty for the act of genocide while effectively supporting the perpetuation of the political entity, Republika Srpska, created by Karadzic’s culpable actions. German occupied Sudetenland did not survive the Nazis.