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Serbia: African Bloggers’ Reactions to Karadžić's Arrest

After news broke on Monday night that former Bosnian Serb leader and one of the world’s most wanted persons Radovan Karadžić had been arrested, astonished bloggers in the Balkans and all around the world started reacting to the story. And because of the recent request by the International Criminal Court's (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to indict Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, some bloggers have been making comparisons between the two cases.

For instance Greater Surbiton, a blog focusing on the Balkans, commented:

The Bashir indictment is to be celebrated, because whether or not it results in the tyrant ever facing justice, it represents a nail in his political coffin; a push sending him further along the road already trodden by Milosevic and Karadzic. His international isolation will increase; what is left of his legitimacy will decrease; it will be more difficult for other states to collaborate with him; and if he survives his eventual overthrow, the successor regime will have to collaborate with the ICC in bringing him to trial, which will be a catalyst to its own democratic reform – just as enforced collaboration with the ICTY catalysed democratic reform in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.

Similarly, bloggers from Africa have been drawing parallels between Karadžić's indictment and arrest, and the potential coming ones for African dictators such as Omar al-Bashir in Sudan or Rober Mugabe in Zimbabwe (coincidentally, Sokwanele informs that yesterday Enough and Impunity Watch released a paper on the “Legal options available in holding accountable President Robert Mugabe for possible international crimes”).

Faustine Barraza, a blogger from Tanzania, commented:

It now appears that Karadzic will have his day in court […]
It is a good lessons to African dictators that the World is watching and that one day, they might be called to account for what they did. I hope Al-Bashir and Mugabe are paying attention.

Musengeshi Katata of the blog focusing on the DR Congo Forum Réalisance [Fr] also warns other dictators:

Il n'y a pas meilleur avertissement pour Omar el Béchir, le prochain candidat de la Cour Internationale de Justice. Ainsi qu'à tous ceux qui croient qu'ils peuvent, sans tenir compte de nos valeurs, de notre éthique et morale humaine, nous servir impunément leurs bassesses quelques soient les fonctions qu'ils exercent, leur nationalité, leur confession, la couleur de leur peau. And justice for all.

There is no better warning for Omar al-Bashir, the next candidate for the International Criminal Court. As well as for all those that believe they can, without taking into consideration our human values, ethics and morality, impose their vileness with impunity no matter their position, their nationality, their religion, their skin color. And justice for all.

Black River Eagle from the blog Jewels in the Jungle on African issues, participating in the debate at the portal African Loft, wondered:

Let’s see if Serbia extradites this European war criminal to Den Haag (The Hague) or demand that he be tried in their own national courts. This could have a negative impact on the pending indictment and trial of Omar al-Bashir at the ICC if the Serbs insist on doing the latter.
[…]
Because he is a Muslim, a serving head-of-state of an African country he should escape international justice? In the name of peace for Darfur and a negotiated political settlement that will hold up over time? Give me break. Karadzic specialized in the slaughter and mass rape of thousands of Muslims in the heart of Europe, and the sucker is going down I guarantee you.

A few other Africans have given their opinion regarding Karadžić's arrest on the BBC World Have your say blog, on yesterday's post about his arrest. Below is a selection of them.

Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel, a Rwandan in Cameroon:

As a victim of Rwandan genocide the arrest of Radovan Karadzic is not enough at all, this man is supposed to tried quickly and pay for suffer and misery he caused. His arrest can only help to heal the wounds if he is treated exactly the same as his victims. For me I will have peace of mind when all perpetrators of Rwandan genocide are hanged.

Kelvin Kamayoyo:

The issue of sitting presidents hidding in the principle of sovereignity must not be their defence and lead to prolonged suffering of the innocent citizens as in the case of Zimbabwe, Sudan-Darfur. Omar al Bashir must be indicted as soon as possible and spped up the trials of the alleged cases before him as doing so it will enable to hasten the quenching of the civil war in Darfur.

George Wills Bangirana:

This is very interesting news for all citizens of the world but more so for us in Africa who live the brutality of our leaders past and present.
It beats my understanding how these once “mighty” people who hold political office unleash all kinds of mayhem on the very people they are supposed to protect without as much as a flinch and then when their turn in the cooler comes up, they live like rats-Saddam Style- or cry out to the very people they were brutalising for mercy and help. it only confirms one thing that No condition in the world is permanent and leaders better beware. Your turn may be not very far away.

Julie Kampala:

Though the arrest of Karadzic will not ressurect the dead that he killed. It will deter other dictators or dictatorships like Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Bashir of Sudan and the Burman government.

17 comments

  • Kru

    Owen, don’t you get CNN? It was on TV. By noon that day, it was pulled. They actually had media accounts of a burned out, mortared Serbian village. It was the event that started Bosnia — as far as actual acts of war. As for overstating numbers, the media and the PR firms hired by Middle Eastern benefactors — on-behalf of the Bosnian Muslims — that took care of that. I remember accounts of a mass exodus of 300,000 people. When the non-Serb soldiers were asked what the number of the exodus was — they stated 3,000. When Bosnian Muslim women were filmed running toward a refugee camp, the media interpreted/translated what they were saying to each other. It was much different from the actual translation — which amounted to, “There was some shooting back there but wasn’t close. We just ran anyway.” Followed by the women joking with each other and thankful they had not encountered any fire. The media translation was much different. I’ll leave it up to everyone’s imagination about how the murderous, bloodthirsty Serbs just missed capturing them, etc. etc. etc.

    One thing I also remember, is the buses that transported women and children (not old enough to carry a weapon) being bused out of many places before the men and older boys were imprisoned and/or shot. Don’t like it, don’t condone it, but it was a war. You think the other guys didn’t do it? Please, give me a break. Be a realist.

    Hey, Izetbegovic shouldn’t have said that he was looking to create a Muslim state in Europe modeled after Iran. He did it for money and material support, but it was a dumb thing to do. It made the situation worse.

    And yeah, I don’t have the name of the village. Who are you — the UN? You want to know, ask CNN for the file footage. I’m sure they have “lost it” by now — wink!

    If you are going to point fingers, point it at the rats on all sides; including US, UK, Germany; France, Italy, Russia, Middle East; etc. Everyone had something to gain — rich in history, minerals, ports, tourism, geographic importance, etc…

    The problem in the Balkans was that old hatreds/mistrust were easily stirred and revived. Nobody wanted to step back and take a breath and ask what next? Too easy to kill each other. Once leaders make that decision — there’s no going back. Then, you have to choose sides. That’s how it is. Happens in every war. The outsiders got what they wanted.

    People in the Balkans are some of the brightest and nicest people in the world. Just don’t piss them off — because they go all the way. That’s why they have survived for so long. And quit demonizing the Serbs.

    Check what really happened. The terrorist, drug, and slavery superhighway through the Balkans to the West is now open for business. Take a closer look, it’s a lot of the same people you are representing.

    You might want to find a new cause in life…

    • Emily

      Kru, Thank you for your insighful and truthful answers to what really is going on in our world with the higher evil powers. They know what they’re doing and love to stir up the mob mentality, old harted from centuries ago. That’s how they win and the innocent people loose. You have a voice to speak the truth and God bless you. People with a good conscience know who the agressors are the rest want to believe the lies out there about Serbs. P.S. Owen wants to believe the lies and stay ignorant.

  • n

    number 1 serbia is weird, bc they get what they want when they want. rafte pika en zemer. personally i can’t stand them AT ALL. they just like to cause drama for everyone. once something involves serbia or serbian people or albanians, they go insane. (THIS IS THE MIND THEY HAVE. i am albanian, and proud to be one. and i’m soooooooooooooooooooooooo GLAD THAT KOSOVO WON THERE INDEPENDENCE. THIS TIME SERBIA DID NOT GET THERE WAY. NOW PEOPLE SEE HOW THEY ARE WITH EVERYTHING THEY DO. AND THEY WILL NEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR GET THERE WAY EVERRRRRRRRR.

    • Milka

      You sound like a bright man without an education. If you’re Albanian isn’t your country Albania? Why steal your neighbors land? Kosovo will NEVER belong to Albanians because it was never there’s to begin with. You may have it now but don’t get too cocky, G-d hears you and He may just return it to the Serbs.

  • Emily

    Karadzic was defending his country. All the rape stories are lies by “those” who made false claims so they could propogate their agendas on the world. They raped us and we raped them, that’s war but there are bigger fish to fry than Karadzic. He is inocent. He didn’t start the war.”Those” with evil agendas did. Clinton, former USA president, was apart of if and he helped “the powers” make Yugoslavia weak and it worked. Now “they” can control Europe and “their” plans for the European Union to become the strong man is becoming as “they” wish. We are
    puppets in “their” hands and “they” do as “they” wish. But G-d (Jeshua) is in control and “they’ will bow their knee to Him in due time.

  • Owen

    Emily, you’re on another plante. When you get back, read what Presiding Judge Mumba had to say in the Summary of the Kunarac et al. Trial Judgment, Press release n. 566, available at http://www.un.org/icty/latest-e/index.htm,

    “Rapes were used by members of the Bosnian Serb armed forces as an instrument of terror. An instrument they were given free rein to apply whenever and against whomsoever they wished.”

    The Judge stated that the perpetrators of the crimes had “shown the most glaring disrespect for the women’s dignity and their fundamental human rights on a scale that far surpasses even what one might call the average seriousness of rapes during wartime.”

  • Kelvin Kamayoyo

    7th November 2009
    Kelvin Kamayoyo,
    (Author-economist)

    Bashir’s continued tricks to frustrate the ICC
    Bashir should not be allowed to travel to Turkey to attend an Organisation of the Islamic Conference because he has been put on an international arrest warrant on war crimes he has committed and still continue to do so. Furthermore, because the Conference itself shall not yield any tangible results that can send a wind of hope to bettering up our ravage economic world. The world is currently facing multiple problems some of natural character, e.g. earth quakes while many of human made, inter alia, institutional infancy or collapse or ineffective and inefficient, climate change/ global warming, corruption, political instability, terrorism, economic crisis, food shortages compounded by obvious higher prices thereby deepening the Gap of those with access to food and resources, and those without. Therefore, this Conference does not seem to offer any single solution to most of the world’s problems but is most likely to create extra hurdles because some of the eminent statements or keynote speeches by the Islamic leaders that will attend would be aggressive, based on personal and/ or country character assassination from e.g. Iran President, Libyan President and Bashir himself. This Conference is not unique to many of us and such gathering have been convened by Muslims, in past, in order solely to entrench their ideologies among themselves and overall strategize on how to continue entrenching the Islamic religion over the Christian religion across the world and in particular in those areas where they appear to co-exist.

    Islam, Christainty, ICC and Bashir
    The ICC has done its job (initiated prosecution process) by demonstrating that Bashir, indeed, has a case to answer before the court and the task now remains to all responsible countries across the world to act in conformity with the international rule of law. By acting in conformity with the international rule of law global countries will be obviously supporting the ICC’s mandate, credibility and its life relevance. All responsible countries across the global must work toward assisting the ICC to implementing its general mandate by facilitating the arrest of Bashir and any other past and future international suspect. Indeed, the world is keen to record a good international Case law at The Hague.

    The Islamic community has often perceived the world as it’s adversely and whenever a noble decision is made at international level or by the United States of America trying to correct a wrong committed by a Muslim the response has always been that it’s because they are marginalized as compared to the Christians. Muslim should begin to co-exist with the Christians and adopt a character of positive society integration with other religions and classes of people. There are well know of isolation and even in our communities they tend to bundle themselves in one house or compound or complex. Why should you restrict yourselves? Even in economics or international trade theories it has since been proved and/ or recommended that an economic system characterized of ‘‘Autarky nature and principles’’ or Closed economic system has no hope of expanding or developing. Hence, many economic scholars have recommended a deeper liberalization (though a lot can be said on this topic) of an Open system which is inherent with freedom exchange of goods and services or indeed ideas in this context and also enhances specialization, in this case could be Muslim utilizing talented skills in business/ entrepreneurship and exploit positively natural resources for the benefit of themselves and Christians at large.

    Muslims should begin to appreciate the fact that Christians love them too, despite religion disparity between the two groups and this can be seen by the overall growth conducive environment provided to Muslims in most Christian dominated countries across the world. However, this scenario is different from Muslim dominated countries were the population growth of Christians has either been constant or eroding. ‘‘It’s high time we faced reality and looked at each other as one of our own and not as my enemy’s child’’. Furthermore, a number of Christian leaders across the world have stood to speak in favour of Bashir, a thing that would appear impossible by a Muslim leader to do if the suspect was a Christian. Examples are there for one to give reference to such as Charles Tailor (Former Liberian President), Bemba (Former Lebel Leader in Congo-DR) very few if not zilch Muslim leaders took interest to support these former leaders.

    Bashir has been defiant ever since the International Criminal Court of The Hague issued an arrest warrant against him and many African leaders and astounding enough including the continental organ (AU) has voiced and passed instantaneous adhoc resolutions in support of his repudiation. However, the support by most leaders that have so far voiced has little grounds in it other than just echoing the aspect of ”sovereignty”. The question that international communities continue to ignore is why the people of Darfur and Southern Sudan are not being given the necessary attention by the AU? Why should the arrest warrant of Bashir (a single person though with a lot of punitive powers against the Darfur and Southern Sudan persons) cause much alarm to an extent of issuing instantaneous continental positions in the form of recommendations supporting Bashir? Suprising enough while all this was and is still happening a number of people have continued to die in Darfur and Southern Sudan in the wider view of the AU and UN, and indeed most Africans continue to be swamped in chilly poverty.

    Conclusion
    Bashir will continue to enjoy his defacto freedom owing to higher poverty levels in most African countries, lack of leaders with the passion to make a landmark change for the continent, Sudan’s country resource endowment and the pace and approach adopted by China in penetrating the African continent. China has a serious role to play if Sudan and many other African countries are to exercise compliance in most international conventions and protocols. The level of flexibility China accords most African countries is a threat to levels of adherence to the international rule of law and if not promptly and adequately examined has the potential to yield global rule of law compliance crisis. Thus, if China & AU today was to extend sanctions against Sudan the scernario would definitely be different and Bashir would have surrendered himself to the ICC. The world is therefore reminded to support the life existence of the ICC and make its work easier, however the ICC should also endeavor to review its mandate so that it can be legally proactive and eliminate suspicions that it somewhat attempt to discriminate persons to be prosecuted. With the global support the ICC can sharpen its Teeth capable of biting Bashir from wherever he maybe!!!!

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