A birthday card displaying handcuffs wrapped into a red ribbon was sent by Nato-led peacekeepers today in the form of posters and newspaper adverts to one of Bosnia’s top war crimes suspects still at large.
Bosnian Serb wartime commander General Ratko Mladic is marking his 62nd birthday somewhere in hiding.
He was indicted in 1995 by the UN. War-crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide and other atrocities committed during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.
The text below the handcuffs said: “Ratko, we have not forgotten about you.”
In a line below it added: “This will be your only present soon,” hinting that peacekeepers may soon be able to arrest and handcuff him.
The posters were put up in the Bosnian Serb wartime stronghold of Pale, east of Sarajevo, but by noon most had been removed by irate residents.
Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic still enjoy support from a part of the Bosnian Serb population.
Nato-led peacekeepers, known as SFOR, have repeatedly tried to arrest Karadzic, since he is presumed to be hiding in the Bosnian Serb part of the country.
Mladic is believed to be hiding in Serbia but apparently also crossing into Bosnia.
“We haven’t forgotten about him and SFOR is still focusing on bringing him to justice”, SFOR spokesman Major Ron Carson said in Banja Luka.