US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed on Thursday the arrest of Ratko Mladic in Serbia and hoped that justice may be served in The Hague.
“The United States welcomes the arrest of Ratko Mladic by Serbian security services earlier today. We commend President Tadic, the Government of Serbia, its security services and all those who have labored for years to bring Mladic to justice,” said Clinton in a statement.
“We look forward to his earliest possible extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague so that justice may be served,” she added.
Serbian President Tadic announced that Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb General accused of overseeing the massacre at Srebrenica and other atrocities, had been captured and would be turned over to the international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Clinton noted that “this is a great day for justice in the international system. Mladic’s arrest serves as a statement to those around the world who would break the law and target innocent civilians: international justice works. If you commit a crime, you will not escape judgment, you will not go free”.
“As we thank Serbia for bringing a criminal to justice, we also send our deepest sympathies and extend our thoughts and prayers to all those who have suffered from the notorious acts charged to Mladic, particularly the genocide at Srebrenica in 1995,” she added.
Clinton further noted that this arrest “cannot restore what you have forever lost, but we hope it will provide some comfort that this criminal is now behind bars.”
“We hope that Serbia’s action in arresting Mladic will help Serbia move on, provide the opportunity to gain admission into the European Union and enable Serbia to build a brighter future as part of a whole, free, and peaceful Europe”, she concluded.
While Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) also issued a statement saying that “Mladic’s capture is welcome news not only to the survivors of the horrors he helped create but also to people around the world who deplore such atrocities and demand justice.”
“It is my hope that with Mladic’s capture, the process of healing will continue and peaceful cooperation between the government of Serbia and its neighbors will grow. Those who commit atrocities – and those who may be considering violent repression of their own people – should heed this lesson. The international community will not rest until justice is served”, he concluded.