Justice for Bosnia

RADOVAN Karadzic has finally been put in the dock at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The man, known as the Butcher of the Balkans, for his role in sending more than 200,000 people to death, most of them Bosnian Muslims, evaded the long arm of the law for 11 years thanks to the protection offered by the Serbian authorities and extremists.

Published: Fri 1 Aug 2008, 11:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:54 PM

Karadzic is charged with 11 counts, including genocide and crimes against humanity for the 43-month-long siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

What Karadzic with his other comrades like former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic unleashed on the besieged Bosnian Muslim population for nearly four years will long be remembered as the most disgraceful episode in the post World War II history.

Europe, the United States, the UN and rest of the civilised world rubbed hands in helplessness as the Serbian terrorists went on the rampage turning the whole of the Balkans into a large war zone.

Finally, when the US and EU states stirred out of their slumber to rein in the killers, it had been too late. The silence and inaction on the part of the world community had claimed more than 200,000 innocent lives, not to mention the mass rape of Bosnian women and total destruction of Sarajevo and Bosnia Herzegovina.

No one perhaps will ever know how many innocents paid with their lives and honour for their religious or ethnic identity. The Bosnian and Serbian authorities continue to stumble on mass graves to this day.

One shudders to think what would have happened if the US, EU and UN, under pressure from the Muslim countries like UAE, had not moved to stop further bloodshed. Who knows how many more Srebrenicas we would be mourning today, if the world had not eventually moved to rein in the mass murderers like Karadzic?

If the international community had been first guilty of failure to protect the people of Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo, it compounded it by failing to bring Karadzic, Milosevic and company to justice all these years.

Thirteen years after one of the most well planned and executed genocides in history, its perpetrators are yet to pay for their crimes.

The UN tribunal for Yugoslavia has not so far succeeded in convicting even a single one of them. Milosevic, Karadzic's mentor and one of the main architects of the Balkan genocide, died in his cell at The Hague after a long and inconclusive trial. Which is why we so hope the UN tribunal will this time around do a better job of bringing justice to the Bosnian victims.

More news from