|English.news.cn 2011-05-27 02:59:00||FeedbackPrintRSS|
UNITED NATIONS, May 26 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Thursday welcomed the arrest of key war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, saying that "This is an historic day for international justice."
Ban, who is visiting France on Thursday, made the remarks in a statement issued here by his spokesman, which said, "The secretary- general welcomes today's arrest of Ratko Mladic."
The secretary-general "commends (Serbian) President (Boris) Tadic and the Serbian authorities for this significant step toward ending impunity for those indicted for serious violations of international humanitarian law during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia," said the statement.
Mladic, the war-time leader of the Bosnian Serb forces, was arrested on Thursday in Serbia after evading capture for almost 16 years. He is awaiting transfer to The Hague, where he will stand trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Mladic faces numerous charges, including genocide, extermination, murder, persecutions, deportation, taking of hostages and inflicting terror on civilians, particularly in connection with massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the supposedly "safe haven" of Srebrenica in July 1995 in one of the most notorious events of the Balkan wars.
This "important arrest" will enable the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to move closer to completing its mandate, Ban said. "Ending impunity is essential for reconciliation, sustainable peace and justice in the region."
The statement also voiced the secretary-general's thoughts with the victims and their families "who have waited almost sixteen years for Mr. Mladic to be brought to justice for crimes including those committed at Srebrenica."
"This is a historic day for international justice and for the world's collective fight against impunity," he said. "It sends a powerful message that those who are alleged to have committed crimes against humanity may try to evade justice but they will, in the end, be held accountable."
Editor: Mu Xuequan