Friday, December 2, 2005

Are Karadzic and Mladic about to surrender?

/ fugitive / psychologists /
According to an Athens News Agency Report from Zagreb (here in Greek from, the Croatian newspaper Globus claims that Bosnian Serb reputed war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are in Belgrade (at least according to the Croatian intelligence service). It is expected - says the report - that it is a matter of time before they are delivered to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia... Supposedly European governments have been notified of these events, and the surrender of the two wanted Bosnian Serb leaders, will be arranged in such a way as to minimize reactions from K&M's local supporters. Bosnian Serbs are divided right in the middle on the question of extradition for the two "warlords"...

Now this is far from the first time such rumors are heard - and more theatrical situations have been arranged in the past. Not to mention that Karadzic is never supposed to surrender. Yet I mention this rumour because it seems to have a "history", though of course this by itself does not make the rumour likely - just worth considering:

On the 11th of November Serbia & Montenegro, were given a warning to bring K&M to the Hague by the end of the year or face Euro-Atlantic "excommunication". Bosnian Serb leaders thus prepare and then publish a statement calling for the duo's surrender. On the 16th of November, rumours are published that Kostunica is negotiating Mladic's surrender, which are promptly denied, later emphatically enough to suggest the possible way that such a surrender is going to be served.

Anyway this promises to be interesting - possibly being in that crazy fervour of his, Karadzic could do just about anything - including surrendering?

Meanwhile in another part of the Galaxy (the part where K & M might be heading for), the headline is that "UN's war crime court jails first Kosovo Albanian", or equivalently, that "UN tribunal acquits Kosovo rebels", depending on the way one sees the exact same event. The latter story title has, quite understandably pissed off pretty much all of the Serbs who noted that percentage of acquittals in the ICTY might be perceived to correlate with lobbying money invested in PR. This while other big fish are soon to be judged in the Hague...

[post crossposted at Eurotrib]

1 comment:

talos said...

Doug Muir was kind enough to send me a comment on this story (which alerted me to the comment shutdown) which I'm posting here on his behalf:

I'm deeply skeptical of Karadzic surrendering. Mladic, just maybe, as generational change gradually eliminates his supporters within the former JNA.

But Karadzic? I'd be very surprised. We know he was living in comfort as recently as 2003. I doubt he's much worse off now. More to the point, he's a dick. He won't surrender until his situation becomes intolerable. He /certainly/ won't surrender to save the Bosnian Serbs some grief (although, if he ever does, he'll of course claim that's the reason.)

Something that always struck me about Bosnia and Croatia was the (low) quality of the Serb leadership there. Milosevic was amoral scum, but he was clever and competent. Seselj, an evil asshole, but maybe even smarter than Milosevic. Mladic was a good soldier. But Karadzic was a vain, stupid buffoon, the people around him were petty provincial Communists temporarily crazed by blood and money, and the leadership of Serb Krajina... oh, man.

The opening of SAA negotiations between Bosnia and Sarajevo has made it clear that Europe won't hold four million people hostage for one man. I reluctantly agree with this. But it means there's now zero pressure on the Bosnian Serbs to surrender their hero.

Doug M.