Minister Baird Welcomes Arrest of General Ratko Mladic

(No. 143 - May 26, 2011 - 1:25 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, issued the following statement on the arrest of General Ratko Mladic by Serbian security forces this morning near the city of Zrenjanin in northern Serbia:

"We congratulate the Government of Serbia on this arrest. Ratko Mladic stands accused of horrific crimes. Canada is pleased that he will now face international justice. We call upon all involved to ensure that arrangements for his transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for trial will be made at the earliest opportunity. We hope this will help to bring comfort to those who suffered so much during the terrible wars of the 1990s in the Western Balkans. This arrest promotes respect for international law and demonstrates Serbia’s acceptance of its international responsibilities."

General Mladic had been a fugitive from the ICTY, and is under ICTY indictment for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed while he was in command of the Bosnian Serb army during the Bosnian wars of 1992-95.

The wars in the Balkans in the 1990s were a major engagement for Canada. Over the years, more than 40,000 Canadian troops served in the Western Balkans, to support Canada’s commitment to human rights, democracy and stability in the region. Minister Baird hailed General Mladic’s arrest as an important contribution to those enduring goals.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Chris Day
Director of Communications
Office of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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