Early Wednesday, the war tribunal constituted by the United Nations found the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic guilty of having perpetrated genocide, war crimes as well as crimes against humanity. He is accused of executing the killing of Bosnian Muslims in the Yugoslavia breakup. The tribunal found out that Mr. Mladic was the one organizing for the campaigns to take out Croats, Muslims as well as all other people who were not Serbs out of their land between the year 1992 and 1995. By driving off the individuals, he would have managed to split the area for the Bosnia Serbs. Like the Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic who was also found guilty of the same charges, Mr. Mladic is said to have called for a campaign that was popularized as ethnic cleansing that resulted in massive deaths in the nation that has a population of 4.5 million people only.
1992 went down in history as the deadliest campaign year where over 45,000 people died. Bodies were found on the streets, in their homes or even in camps. Some other people were killed in a siege in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo that lasted for more than four years. A mass execution was organized for Muslim men and boys. More than 8,000 people were killed. By the end of the war, over 2.6 million people were internally displaced. Many of those who survived refer to Mr. Mladic as the Butcher of Bosnia. While defending his client, Mr. Mladic’s lawyer claimed that his client was only following the orders he received from his political seniors. The prosecutors asked Mr. Mladic to be sentenced for life, a plea that was accepted by Alphonso Orie, the presiding judge.
Mr. Mladic surprised many people when he appeared in court on Wednesday dressed in dark suit and a red tie, as the ruling was put down. He remained sitting for over 45 minutes after the address by the judge. His lawyer asked to be given a five minutes break which was granted. Mladic did not come back for about an hour. The public gallery of The Hague was filled with survivors, mostly widows. The verdict did not come as a surprise to many, given that lots of evidence had been presented in the trial that began in the year 2012. Some sessions were postponed citing the poor health of Mr. Mladic. The suit was extended after more graves mass graves were discovered.