President Obama welcomed the news on Thursday that Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb leader accused of masterminding the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, has been captured.
"Today is an important day for the families of Mladic’s many victims, for Serbia, for Bosnia, for the United States, and for international justice," Obama said in a statement.
"While we will never be able to bring back those who were murdered, Mladic will now have to answer to his victims, and the world, in a court of law."
Serbian President Boris Tadic announced on Thursday that Mladic, who evaded arrest for 15 years, had been living in Belgrade under the name Milorad Komadic.
According to The New York Times, the announcement coincides with a visit to Serbia by the European Union’s foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
The chief prosecutor of the United Nations war-crimes tribunal in The Hague is expected to soon release a report stating that Serbia had not cooperated with the international effort to capture Mladic. The report would be a major obstacle to Serbia’s bid for membership in the European Union.
"We look forward to his expeditious transfer to The Hague," Obama said.
The Times reports that the court may decide to try Mladic with Radovan Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb leader captured in 2008 and currently on trial in The Hague.
"Those who have committed crimes against humanity and genocide will not escape judgment," Obama said. "May the families of Mladic’s victims find some solace in today’s arrest, and may this deepen the ties among the people of the region."
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