Mladic loses command

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The Independent Online
Belgrade (Reuter) - The Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, took over personal command of his army last night and replaced his military commander, General Ratko Mladic, in a reshuffle of top army staff.

In a move presented as improving links between the Bosnian Serbs and their fellow Serbs in Croatia, General Mladic was appointed as a "co- ordinator" between the armies of the two self-styled "republics".

But Mr Karadzic's statement on Bosnian Serb television, in which he said "demands for energetic command ... are now unavoidable", appeared to hint at criticism of General Mladic for recent battlefield setbacks.

Mr Karadzic said the need for joint defence between Bosnian and Croatian Serbs had prompted the reshuffle of the army's chain of command.

Mr Karadzic, General Mladic and Milan Martic, head of the rebel Serbs in Croatia, were all indicted last week for war crimes by the UN tribunal in The Hague, which yesterday stepped up pressure on them by calling for information on their location in preparation for their arrest.