Mladic is in Serbia/Responsibility for Failure to Arrest is in Washington & Europe by Ambassador mo

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The Hague Tribunal Prosecutor, (ICTY), reported to the UN Security Council that indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic is still enjoying effective protection from arrest in Serbia. Mr. Serge Brammertz, the ICTY Prosecutor, has on several previous occasions reported the same information, as had his predecessors; however the consequences for Belgrade authorities have been effectively non-meaningful.

Another Trip to UN Security Council/
Failure Rests with “Big Powers”/ “P-5”
The UN Security Council cannot help but be sullied by its ommission to address its own responsibility as well as failure to hold the Serbian government accountable. Measures, including sanctions, are at the disposal of the Security Council, (as the obligation to cooperate and fully adhere to the ICTY’s orders, including arrest warrants is absolute under Chapter 7). However, the Security Council is only as effective as its most powerful members. In the failure to arrest Mladic, responsibility rests with the United States and European powers who consistently avoided to detain him even after he was indicted for war crimes by the ICTY, (the institutions which the UN Security Council established and mandated specifically to deliver justice for the crime of genocide and other grave violations of international humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia).

December 10 is Human Rights Day. It is worthy to draw up an abridged outline of the failures of the big powers on the UN Security Council, particularly the “Permanent-5” including the democracies, United Kingdom, France and the United States, that should have been most vigilant in defending the civilian victims in Bosnia & Herzegovina, (and Croatia) against Mladic or at least delivering him to justice, as they promised, once having shrank in confronting his crimes:

A Brief Timeline of Extensive Betrayals of Justice

• General Ratko Mladic, (approximately 1991-1995), first leads “Jugoslav National Army,” (JNA), forces in brutal conflict in Croatia. He has already started to establish his reputation for violations of international humanitarian law. He then is re-assigned by Belgrade to lead JNA forces in the Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina. When the UN Security Council demands that Belgrade withdraw the JNA from RBiH, Mladic and his army simply changes its insignia to the so-called “Bosnian Serb Army” or “Army of Republika Srpska.” Mladic and Belgrade are largely unchallenged in this sham, even as Mladic and his entire officer corps continues to receive salary and orders from the Belgrade Military Command as well as most resources and logistics to carry on war and genocide. From the siege of Sarajevo targeting civilians to the concentration camps of Bosanska Krajina to the murders in Srebrenica and Zepa, Mladic remains not confronted but rather legitimized.

• Mladic, (1995), leads the assault upon Srebrenica and Zepa, the UN Security Council declared “safe areas” and presumably NATO “protected zones.” At least five requests from the UN Peacekeepers in the safe area to NATO for air support to confront Mladic’s assault were made (See interview with UN official & Author of official inquiry, “Srebrenica Report” - David Harland - ). Such requests were either ignored and/or blocked, (without any “international” official held accountable for such sabotage of UN Security Council, North Atlantic Council resolution. - Evidence now clearly indicates some form of “deal” or acquiescence by at least certain officials ostensibly representing the big powers and UN, [Dick Holbrooke, Carl Bildt, General Bernard Janvier, Yasushi Akashi], to allow Mladic and Serbian strongman President Slobodan Milosevic to realize their territorial objectives of conquest within RBiH).

• Mladic along with Radovan Karadzic is indicted, (1995), as the ICTY is in part spurred by the “genocide” of Srebrenica.

• The Dayton negotiations are started, (1995), under US, (Dick Holbrooke) and EU, (Carl Bildt), leadership. Delegation of RBiH is informed that any efforts to deny to Mladic and Milosevic and recover the “safe areas” of Srebrenica and Zepa would result in collapse of negotiations and that RBiH would have to assume the blame.

• Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey,(1995), as part of Dayton Accords and SOFA, (Status of Forces Agreement defining authority/responsibility of NATO led implementation force), demands with support of several prominent European and US officials/attorneys that arrest of indicted war criminals be an affirmative obligation of all parties to the agreement(s) including IFOR, (new NATO led force to implement the would-be Dayton Accords). General Wes Clark informs Sacirbey that US Pentagon will not assume an affirmative obligation to pursue and arrest, but nonetheless, it is acknowledged that IFOR does assume the responsibility under international law and based upon the UN Security Council mandate, (including for the ICTY), to arrest such indicted persons if in their presence.

• IFOR begins deployment, (1996), but General Mladic and Radovan Karadzic move freely among US and European peacekeepers without fear of arrest.

• Bosnia & Herzegovina law enforcement arrests, (1996), several “Serbian” military on its territory for alleged war crimes. The ICTY does affirm validity of such arrests by assuming prosecution of those individuals.

• On the other hand, the BiH Government is rebuked/threatened that such arrests are nonetheless considered as potentially violating of the Dayton Accords, (as interpreted by civilian representatives for implementation including Dick Holbrooke and then newly appointed High Representative Carl Bildt). Under Holbrooke’s leadership, the “Rome Rules of the Road” are adopted effectively denying the Government of BiH to apprehend suspected war criminals, (unless approved beforehand by the ICTY and IFOR military OK).

• Mladic and Karadzic continue freely moving throughout BiH. Karadzic is candidate, (1996), for office, (also in violation of Dayton Accords as he is indicted by ICTY). Pursuant to “negotiations” led by Holbrooke, evidence strongly suggests that Karadzic is afforded effective immunity from arrest as long as Karadzic withdraws as candidate, (already a budding embarrassment to US and European states). Mladic is also probably afforded such immunity, as both agree to maintain a lower profile.

• Mladic and Karadzic are frequently seen publicly in BiH, (1996-1999), despite “deal” regarding immunity from arrest. IFOR still does not undertake any affirmative measures for their apprehension. To the contrary, they seem to move through IFOR/SFOR, (successor to IFOR –Stabilization Force), lines without fear of arrest.

• Mladic and Karadzic gradually move “underground,” (1998 – 2001). In part because of change in UK Government and then Foreign Minister Robin Cook, small teams are apparently organized to apprehend some indicted persons. It still appears though that arrest of the “big fish” as Karadzic and Mladic is avoided, particularly as it is speculated that latter has information that would expose acquiescence/complicity of some “international officials” including in betrayal of Srebrenica.

• Mladic and Karadzic move to Serbia full time (sometime post 1999), while Belgrade, (and many of its apologists), denies their presence.

• Presumably originally organized to apprehend indicted war criminals, post 9/11/2001 such “teams” turn their hunt almost exclusively toward “suspected Islamic terrorists” frequently acting completely beyond the rule of law in BiH. The search for Mladic and Karadzic becomes a pretext. In meantime, BiH becomes residency for “black sites” for holding and interrogation of alleged terrorists.

• Belgrade continues to deny presence of Mladic on its territory, (as well as Karadzic until his arrest in Belgrade in 2008).

• Numerous commitments are made to BiH citizens/victims by international officials that arrest of Mladic is imminent. Such promises and time frames are routinely broken, (starting in early 2000 when ICTY Prosecutor’s office was led by Carla Del Ponte)

• Belgrade continues to make promises that Mladic will be arrested or in the alternative that he is no longer in Serbia, (despite last confirmed sighting in 2006 or later). Mladic continues to enjoy protection of at least some Serbian authorities. On the other hand, Belgrade has been threatened with various sanctions/consequences but none have been applied despite a 10+-year history of failing to live up to its commitments in this regard.

Mladic in Belgrade, Responsibility in Capitals of Big Powers
During this period, Belgrade had advanced various foreign policy priorities including advancing its goals of EU integration despite “conditionality” (of compliance with request for Mladic’s arrest). Cynically at times, the integration of BiH into the EU and other Euro-Atlantic institutions has been held up on basis of similar conditionality thus again punishing many of Mladic’s and (then Belgrade regime’s) victims/intended targets. All Bosnians & Herzegovinians and neighbors should welcome Serbia’s entry into the Euro-Atlantic family. However, such may be counterproductive, even contaminative of European values and the “European perspective” if the message is that the rule of law is to be selectively applied and that even genocide is relative. Mladic can continue to enjoy his freedom. Serbia can continue to claim the fruits of Mladic’s crimes, genocide, through its explicit association with Republika Srpska’s territorial exclusiveness.

Yes, as the ICTY Prosecutor has revealed, once again, that Mladic is in Serbia. It is up to us to expose the long trail of lack of accountability by the international powers for failure to have him brought to justice and for continuing to effectively accede to the fruits of his crimes, (as well as having in the first place effectively allowed such crimes to occur not confronted). The trail of responsibility is rather long now but it still leads almost as much to Washington, or London or Paris or Brussels as it does back to Belgrade.
By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

See following Video Reports on

--BBC Report on Srebrenica Betrayal:

--Betrayal to Genocide (with Sylvie Matton):

--New Inquiry on Srebrenica Genocide:

--Euro News interviews Amb.Muhamed Sacirbey:

--ICTY Report to UN Security Council:

About the author


"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect ( provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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