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Serbia: African Bloggers’ Reactions to Karadžić's Arrest

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Bosnia Herzegovina, D.R. of Congo, Serbia, Sudan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Breaking News, Governance, History, Human Rights, International Relations, Law, Politics, War & Conflict

After news broke [1] on Monday night that former Bosnian Serb leader and one of the world’s most wanted persons Radovan Karadžić [2] 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 [3], some bloggers have been making comparisons between the two cases.

For instance Greater Surbiton, a blog focusing on the Balkans, commented [4]:

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 [5] 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 [6]:

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 [7]:

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 [8] on African issues, participating in the debate at the portal African Loft, wondered [9]:

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 [10] about his arrest. Below is a selection of them.

Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel [11], 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 [12]:

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 [13]:

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 [14]:

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.