Friday, May 27, 2011

Ratko Mladić

I heard it in bed, this morning, listening to the news: Ratko Mladić was arrested on May 26, 2011 in Lazarevo, Serbia.
I have met the general numerous times, while working in Bosnia during the war and yes, to me all the villain stereotypes are true: hard, cold, paranoid, obsessed with the injustice done to the Serb people, the defeat of the Serbs at Kosovo Polje in 1389 and his disgust for the Bosnian Muslims.
And then, today, I see an old man limping into a cell block, after being on the run for 16 years... 
It may be a relief for himself, in the end - I don't know how things work in his head, but hopefully, it can bring some form of closure nearer for the thousands of relatives of his victims. I can't deny it does something to me, although I don't really know what it is.
Back to the beret. These pictures are taken in Srebrenica, 1995. The general handing out supplies to Bosnian men who would soon be murdered by Mladić's own soldiers. The other photograph was taken at the same time, a Dutch UN Peace Keeper who was meant to protect the 'safe haven' of Srebrenica form what happened in the end. 

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