Twenty years after the war ended, Radovan Karadžić has been found guilty at last, of 10 of 11 charges. He has been found guilty of genocide or “ethnic cleansing” which for instance took place inSrebrenica. The infamous instance when the allies failed to safe all inhabitants of an enclave from being massacred. The sentence meeted out is not the maximum one, but 40 years.
As Mr Karadžić is now 70 years old, heKaradžić should be about 110 if ever he manages to get released. Some survivors are not happy with this sentence as they had hoped for the maximum. Understandable, when one remembers that many of their relatives and friends died twenty and more years ago. Moreover, Mr Karadžić will appeal.
The Guardian cited Mr Brammertz, the tribunal’s chief prosecutor: “Moments like this should also remind us that in innumerable conflicts around the world today, millions of victims are now waiting for their own justice. This judgement shows that it is possible to deliver it.”
But if this result of the Balkan War sets an example, it will take decades for those resposible for similar atrocities taking place in Syria and other places right now, to be dragged in front of a tribunal. So yes: it seems it is possible “to deliver” – but after too many deaths have gone unpunished for too long, after the criminals have managed to evade being arrested for decades and these trials to drag on for years.
In their article for the Guardian, Julian Borger and Owen Bowcott also mention that Mr Karadžić is still seen as a hero in parts of Bosnia.They fear his conviction will not help the former opposing sides to forgie, forget, reconciliate.
This in turn reminds one of the fact that the Brussels terrorists were able, like Mr Karadžić, to evade arrest and are indeed considered heroes by some – both in Brussels and in the rest of the world.