The residual international mechanism for criminal courts on Tuesday rejected its appeal against 2017 convictions for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Mr. Mladić, 79, known as “the butcher of Bosnia”, has presided over some of the most horrific crimes in Europe since World War II.
He led violent ethnic cleansing campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, including the massacre of thousands of Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995.
Responsibility an ‘essential step’: Guterres
A General Secretary António Guterres he took note of the court’s decision and his thoughts are with the victims, survivors and their families, according to a declaration released by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.
He said that the head of the United Nations “calls on all those in positions of power to refrain from denying the gravity of the crimes that have been tried and notes that accountability is an essential step for reconciliation in the region”.
This final ruling is also a reflection of the global community’s commitment to international criminal justice and the fight against impunity.
“It is another critical step in coming to terms with the past to build a more resilient, secure and hopeful future for all citizens and residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region,” the statement said.
The sentence sends “an extremely important message”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, together with the Special Advisor to the Secretary General for the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, have welcomed the sentence.
“The verdict of the mechanism highlights the determination of the international judicial system to guarantee accountability, no matter how long it takes – in Mladić’s case, almost three decades after he committed his appalling crimes,” said Ms Bachelet.
Ms. Nderitu added that the court’s decision “provides historical certainty and purpose” for the victims and survivors.
“It also sends an extremely important message across the Western Balkans, where we see the denial of genocide and the glorification of convicted criminals like Mladić not only persisting but on the rise,” he said.
‘Struggle for justice’
They urged elected and public officials across the region, as well as the media, to refrain from revisionist narratives, divisive rhetoric and hate speech, noting that posters and other materials glorifying war criminals continue to appear in various cities across the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Mladić’s crimes were the horrible culmination of hatred fueled for political ends. Today’s decision is about her individual responsibility for her terrible acts, not collective punishment or sharing of guilt against a particular community, “Ms Bachelet said.
“I urge governments, elected and public officials to fight for justice for all victims and survivors of wars in the former Yugoslavia, to heal – rather than aggravate – the region’s open wounds and to promote reconciliation and lasting peace. Only by honestly facing the past can a country strive to create an inclusive future and build responsible institutions for all its citizens ”.