Today’s conviction of Ratko Mladic on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by a UN tribunal will come as cold comfort to those terrorized by his renegade Bosnian Serb forces. Mladic served the President of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadžić (who was captured in 2008), as chief of staff of Bosnian Serb forces,
Mladic went underground at the end of the Yugoslav wars and was reported in poor health when finally tracked down and captured in 2011. On entering court today Mladic appeared in altogether better health, smirking at the camera – “a gesture that infuriated relatives of the victims.”
Mladic and his forces are most remembered for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of about 8,000 men and boys, but the “Butcher of Bosnia” also terrorized the capital Sarajevo, where the 1992 – 1996 siege killed about 14,000 more people, including 5,434 civilians.
Here are photos from Sarajevo in November, 1997.
The Bosnian parliament building, top, and detail below.
Bullet-ridden tram stop.
The SFOR, or Stabilization Force, patrols the main street.
The flower market, where a mortar shell killed 66 in 1994.
I think this photo sums up the term “abject misery.”
A Sarajevo tram crosses in front of the rubble of a shelled-out building.