|General Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb Army Mass murderer,|
disgrace to the profession of soldiering and shame to the human race
One of the best pieces of news I have heard in a long time is the arrest of the butcher Mladic.
I cannot say how much I hate this man and the others of his kind. My Regiment was the first UK Regiment to deploy back in 1992 under the command of Lt Col - now Tory MP Bob Stewart DSO as part of UNPROFOR1. The absolute carnage people such as Mladic and his counterparts in the Bosnian-Croats and to a lesser extent the Bosniak forces had inflicted on people because of religion and ethnicity was indescribable. What we saw in that first six months wasn't the actions of a few deranged lunatics - thousands of militia carried it out, wilfully and with glee, usually drunk and/or high on drugs.
But so that you are left in no doubts, one of the more prominent 'actions' Mladic's Bosnian-Serbs carried out (along with the siege of Sarajevo) was Srebrenica. In Srebrenica during July 1995 alone his men - with his full authority, deliberately massacred over 8000 muslim men and teenage males and a further 2000 women, girls and young male children - hunting them down in the surrounding forests and exterminating them after in some cases subjecting them to torture, disfigurement and mass rape. The full total for the three years the Srebrenica enclave was beseiged probably exceeds 20,000.
The killings at Srebrenica had been going on since the start of the conflict and that was just the 'final solution' for that particular enclave. It was a small town and a surrounding area of villages and settlements - an encircled enclave of mainly Bosnian-Muslims trapped and beseiged behind Bosnian-Serb lines. Pounded night and day by artillery and mortars slowly the surrounding villages emptied into the central town of Srebrenica swelling it with refugees. People - indeed whole families, sleeping rough in the streets as artillery burst amongst them. Body parts hanging from trees, limbs lying in the street. We manged to get access in April 1993 and were only allowed to bring aid in provided the aid lorries left full of muslims. In short we were being used by the Bosnian-Serbs to ethnically cleanse on Mladic's behalf. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see mothers stood in the street handing their babies up to people on the lorries - people they didn't even know just to get their child out of that hell.
After one run one such baby was dead in the corner of a lorry. Some of our men buried it in an unmarked grave by the side of the road. Did it's mother survive? Is she alive to this day pining for a child she has lost but thinks survived but in fact lies forgotten in an unmarked unknown grave in the middle of nowhere?
And the greatest shame of all is the gutless politicians of Europe. Bosnia could have been extinguished by the end of 1992 by force of arms. Instead the politicians of Europe dithered. And prevaricated. And dithered a bit more. For more than 3 years they dithered and tens of thousands of people died needlessly as a result. Bosnia is truly Europe's great shame post WW2. Of the three nations that see themselves as 'leaders' - the UK, Germany & France, not one of them showed any leadership at all.
When Srebrenica finally fell in July 1995 this is some of what his men - under his instruction, carried out.
Mladic, when you go to bed tonight look around your cell. That's your world for the rest of your life and hopefully your life is going to be a very very long one.
|Bosnian-Serb Paramilitaries marching young muslim males to an execution site|
There will be an awful lot of people smiling right now and rightly so.