“I am pleased that Radovan Karadzic has now been arrested. I expect the Serbian authorities to extradite him to The Hague so that he can be called to account for the acts for which he has been indicted,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has indicted Karadzic for complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“His arrest is important for the victims of the crimes, and it will contribute to healing the wounds from the war in the Balkans,” Mr Støre said.
Relations between the countries in the region have been strained by the fact that the key war criminals have evaded capture. The arrest will hopefully lead to more normalised relations and closer cooperation between the countries that made up the former Yugoslavia. The arrest of Karadzic and his transfer to the ICTY will be a victory for international law, an important contribution to bringing about justice, and a big step towards addressing the question of accountability for some of the worst atrocities committed in Europe since the Second World War, not least the Srebrenica massacre.
“The arrest of Karadzic helps to remove a significant obstacle on Serbia’s path to full participation in European cooperation, and it represents a major step towards normalising Serbia’s relations with the international community. In my dealings with Serbia’s President and Minister of Foreign Affairs I have always stressed the importance of cooperating with the ICTY,” Mr Støre commented.
“I have taken this matter up with Serbia’s President and Minister of Foreign Affairs on a number of occasions, and it has always been quite clear that they have shared this view,” Mr Støre added.
Having said this, the Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasised that it is important to continue the hunt for those who are indicted for war crimes but who remain at large, including General Ratko Mladic.