2008-07-23 08:29:43 GMT 2008-07-23 16:29:43 (Beijing Time) SINA.com
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday hailed as "a historic moment for the victims" the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, the wartime Bosnian Serb leader accused of genocide.
"This is a historic moment for the victims, who have waited 13 years for Mr. Karadzic to be brought to justice," Ban said in a statement released by his press office.
The statement said the secretary general was "heartened" by the arrest of Karadzic and commended Serbian authorities "for this decisive step toward ending impunity for those indicted for serious violations of international law during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia."
"This important and timely arrest will enable the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to move closer to completing its mandate, and bring justice to the perpetrators and the victims of the serious international crimes committed," the statement noted.
It added that ending impunity was 'an essential element for achieving peace and justice in the region."
"While this is an important milestone, the work of the International Tribunal will not be complete untill all fugitives have been arrested and tried," the statement concluded.
Karadzic had been on the run since July 1995 when he was indicted by the ICTY together with his military commander Ratko Mladic, who is still at large.
Karadzic faces charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, willful killing, persecutions, deportation and inhumane acts against Muslims, Croats and other non-Serb civilians during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.
The worst crimes on his indictment are the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, in which some 12,000 civilians were killed, and the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim males in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.
Serge Brammertz, the chief prosecutor of the ICTY -- which charged Karadzic and Mladic with war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in 1995 -- welcomed the arrest earlier Monday.