I have been reading some of the testimonials from the relatives of victims of genocide in Bosnia. There have been some expressions of joy but the pain has been stronger. Genocide is rightly not a term used lightly - nor is Richard Holbrooke's phrase about Karadzic "the Osama Bin Laden of the western Balkans", which has not provoked adverse comment - but when perhaps 200 000 are murdered and 2 million displaced in a small country it is right. The reports have reminded people that Karadzic was a poet - and psychologist to the Red Star Belgrade football team. His arrest sends an important signal at an important time.
115 people have been tried in the International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia, with 56 convictions. A small number are still on the run, including Ratko Mladic. But the Serbian government have followed through on their election promise and deserve congratulation. Serbs have voted twice in Presidential and parliamentary elections for European/western oriented governments. They deserve congratulation too for resisting the blandishments of backward looking Serb nationalism.
And the Court has shown it does not go away. This is important more generally. It applies to the ICC - International Criminal Court - which has been pursuing those alleged to have been guilty of war crimes in Darfur. The Sudanese government has so far refused to engage with the court, but I tried to make clear in my visit to Khartoum that the Court would not go away if the government refused to engage. The ruling National Congress Party in Sudan still has to decide what to do; I hope they get the message from The Hague.