Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is no longer on the run from international law. Serbia's announcement of his arrest Monday in Belgrade came just days before the thirteenth anniversary of the first charges against him.
|Radovan Karadzic in a photo just released|
He was at the top of the most wanted list of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian war. Also wanted are his military commander, Ratko Mladic, and former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic.
The United Nations created the court in The Hague. Serbian officials say Radovan Karadzic could be sent to the Netherlands on Monday at the earliest. His lawyers have appealed to stop the move. Failing that, they say he wants to represent himself before the court.
The man who was called the "Butcher of Bosnia" had been living in the Serbian capital. The former psychiatrist was practicing new age medicine as a spiritual healer. He used the name Dragan David Dabic. He grew a long white beard and wore glasses. He even had a Web site.
|Karadzic in a 1996 photo|
He is charged in the siege of Sarajevo. Almost four years of bullets, shellfire, disease and starvation killed more than ten thousand people in the Bosnian capital.
He is also charged in the deadliest single act against civilians in Europe since World War Two. Eight thousand Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica in nineteen ninety-five. The United Nations had declared the Bosnian town a U.N.-protected "safe area."
Serb forces took Srebrenica as part of a campaign that came to be known as ethnic cleansing.
The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina began in nineteen ninety-two after Muslims and Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia.
Many people in Sarajevo celebrated the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, while some nationalist Serbs demonstrated in Belgrade. But Serbia's newly elected government wants to join the European Union. The surrender of war crimes suspects is a major condition for Serbia to become a candidate for membership.
|President Omar al-Bashir with Sudanese troops in Darfur on Wednesday|
The capture came as another court in The Hague considers seeking the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan.
The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has requested an arrest order. The Argentine lawyer wants to bring President Bashir to trial on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
The United Nations estimates that as many as three hundred thousand people have died in the conflict in western Sudan since two thousand three. Two and a half million are living in camps for the displaced. Sudan's government says no more than ten thousand people have been killed. The conflict involves rebels, government forces and allied militias.
The African Union and the Arab League want a delay in any charges against President Bashir. China, which supplies arms to Sudan and buys its oil, warns that the case could lead to more violence in Darfur.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.