Didier Reynders welcomes the conviction of Ratko Mladić
Today Ratko Mladić has been found guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. This sentence puts an end to a long legal battle in this Tribunal for the many victims of the atrocities which have taken place 20 years ago in the Western Balkans.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders commends the work of the International Tribunal, which since its creation in 1993 has handled cases against more than 150 persons suspected of violations of international humanitarian law. The Tribunal made it possible for hundreds of victims of the Balkan wars to tell their stories and to testify about the atrocities, so that they will never be forgotten.
Fighting impunity and ensuring justice for the most serious crimes under international law, are fundamental obligations of every State. They are also an essential prerequisite for reconciliation between different communities. These efforts should be continued within the region, with a view to the European integration of these countries. They can count on Belgian support in this endeavor.
Minister Reynders calls upon all concerned countries to reinforce their collaboration with each other and with the International Tribunal, as well as with its successor, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. This Mechanism will be in charge of handling the appeal by Ratko Mladić against today's ruling.
Didier Reynders’ thoughts are with the victims of the atrocities of the 90ies in ex-Yugoslavia and their families. The memory of the victims will stay alive.