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“Butcher of Bosnia” loses genocide appeal

Women from Srebrenica wait to watch a live broadcast from the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague at the memorial cemetery in Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia, Tuesday. Associated Press/ Photo by Darko Bandic

“Butcher of Bosnia” loses genocide appeal

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, known as “the Butcher of Bosnia,” lost his final appeal Tuesday against his 2017 convictions for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. U.N. judges concluded Mladic failed to provide sufficient evidence to counter his previous convictions. The court also rejected the prosecution’s attempt to add a second genocide conviction for crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats in other areas during the war. The final judgment means the 78-year-old will spend the rest of his life in prison.

What are the allegations against him? Mladic was one of the last suspects brought before the U.N.’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He was accused of commanding violent ethnic cleansing targets in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, including the July 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. It marked the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II. U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed the historic judgment, saying it “shows that those who commit horrific crimes will be held accountable.”

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archive, read my 2017 report on Mladic’s first sentencing.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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