Former Bosnia envoy Paddy Ashdown hails Mladic arrest
Paddy Ashdown, a former high representative to Bosnia Herzegovina, said the arrest Thursday of Ratko Mladic was a "great moment", saying he had been a key architect of atrocities in the Balkans.
"This is a great moment for the Balkans and for international justice," said the British peer, who served as the international community's envoy between 2002 and 2007.
"Mladic was one of the two primary architects of the Balkan horrors, including the worst acts of genocide on the European mainland for the last 50 years."
The other was former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 after 13 years in hiding. He is accused of being responsible for the bombardment of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war.
Ashdown added of Mladic: "His forthcoming trial will be a chance for the whole Balkan region to put the past behind them and start building a secure European future."
Serbia announced the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb military chief earlier Thursday, ending a 16-year manhunt for the general accused of masterminding Europe's worst massacre since World War II.
He faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the Srebrenica massacre and the bloody siege of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 conflict.
© 2011 AFP