Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic made his first appearance in front of the UN War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague on Friday.
At 69 he looked frail and aged in comparison to his former self. But despite that, the defiance was still there as he called the charges of genocide “obnoxious” and “monstrous”.
Saliha Osanovic would no doubt agree with those descriptions. She lost her husband and two sons in the seige of Srebrenica.
“I saw Mladic on TV today. I was hurting inside. He said he was ill, incapable of following the trial. And I have been ill for 16 years. I lost both my sons. Imagine, my husband called Nermin. But I am not the only one, my wounds are inside of me.”
Her husband had been captured by the Serbs while her son Nermin escaped and hid in a forest. The Serbs assured her husband that he would be safe and made him call out to his son to come out of hiding. He did so.
Their remains were exhumed from two separate mass graves several years later.