In the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, the city Ratko Mladic is accused of holding under siege for 43 months, there was relief at the news of the former general’s arrest.
One resident told reporters “I think that finally all those victims and their families will sense some relief although there is no way to bring back those who were so brutally murdered. Let’s finally see him in The Hague to face his sentence, although it can never be adequate for all that he has done to the Bosnian people.”
But in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, there were mixed feelings. While some still see Mladic as a hero, many others were glad to hear of his capture, hoping it would finally end a bloody chapter in Serbia’s history.
“Thank God it is over. Whoever has been accused has to be held responsible. The whole Serbian nation cannot be blamed and I hope people in the West realise this,” said one resident, while another added “I don’t know what to say. This is very sad for Serbia. We should not pay too much attention to what happened yesterday because this is not our success, it is the collapse of the Serbian nation. I think Ratko Mladic is a national hero. We should have sent him away in a different manner, not like this.”
The arrest of Mladic – the last of the three men blamed for instigating ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian war – is expected to clear the way for Serbia to join the European Union.