Wanted Serbian War Criminal Arrested

Destroyed house in the Krajna region, where heavy fighting took place between Serbian and Croatian forces

Goran Hadzic, the last person wanted for war crimes committed during the Balkans war, was arrested today in a mountainous area near Novi Sad in the Serb province of Vojvodina.

Goran Hadzic was the head of the Serbian areas in Croatia during the bloody Balkans war, he has allegedly ordered the killing of hundreds and the deportation of thousands of Croatian civilians.

Serbian President Boris Tadic confirmed the arrest this morning and said “with this, the most difficult part of our cooperation with the International War Crimes Tribunal is over”. Tadic continued that this was an important prerequisite for normal relationships in the region and “the beginning of reconciliation”.

Of all the 137 wanted war criminals Hadzic was the last one that remained at large. He barely managed to get away before security forces could arrest him in 2004 in Novi Sad but at 8 o’clock this morning there was no escape.

The second arrest of a high-profile Serbian war criminal within a few weeks could also be interpreted as a signal towards the EU. Brussels had frequently accused the Serbian government for not doing enough to bring the three most notorious war criminals – Radovan Karadcic, Radko Mladic and Goran Hadzic – to justice. Serbia seems to be firmly on the way to EU-candidate status now.

Danger: Landmines!!! Croatia is still the country with the largest number of unexploded mines in the world

(Sources: Reuters, Die Presse; 20 July 2011), Images: JB Photography


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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