Srebrenica has been waiting 11 years for the arrest of Ratko Mladic. He is accused of being responsible for the murder of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in the town.
“I’m terrified that Mladic will come back and kill us,” said Meira Djogaz, who lost her husband and three sons. “He’s still free. Why? How?” Mladic has managed to escape all attempts to track him down, allegedly with the help of military, secret service and even religious figures. Under Slobodan Milosevic, Mladic was free to lead a normal life, but he was eventually forced into hiding. It has been revealed, however, that he was receiving a military pension until late last year. Belgrade insists it does not know his whereabouts. Some reports say he has been moving around the Serb Republic. Prosecutors in The Hague suspect he is still in Serbia, protected by those who see him as a hero. The trail has always gone cold. In July 2004, foreign troops were tipped off about a possible hideout, but Mladic was one step ahead. Former colleagues doubt he will give himself up. “It wouldn’t be in accordance with his basic ideas,” said former army colonel Ljubodrag Stojadinovic. “Such an act would annul his whole life over the past eleven years, since he’s been at large. I doubt he would sell his freedom, if it can be called freedom, for any amount of money.” While prosecutors in The Hague are hoping for an imminent arrest, those who support Mladic seem equally determined to protect his freedom.