ONE down, and two to go. The two now being Serbia's last major fugitives, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. Meanwhile thanks to smart work by the Spanish security services, the one down was the Croatian general Ante Gotovina who was taken in the Canarias while enjoying the good life there. Naturally, there were protests in Croatia where Gotovina is a hero of sorts for crushing a Serb rebellion in the Krajina area ten years ago; his action led to the deaths of hundreds of Serb civilians and the expulsion of thousands from their homes. Gotovina is now in The Hague facing prosecution by the UN War Crimes Tribunal whose chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte has never listened to arguments that time was running out on the remaining Balkan war criminals. With Gotovina behind bars she will probably intensify her efforts to persuade the Serbs to find and deliver Karadzic and Mladic; the govenrment insists that it does not know where either of them is to be found but that is not a claim that can be treated with respect. The fact is that these two men have accusations of the most serious kind standing against them and Serbia must intensify its efforts to find them. Karadzic and Mladic aside, the War Crimes Tribunal has been relatively successful; it has indicted 161 people, among them the president of Serbia and prime minister of Kosovo, since it started work in 1993. But the two still to go are the really big ones. Although all these arrests and trials will not guarantee peace and harmony in the Balkans they do deliver the message that war crimes are no longer forgotten.


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