Mladic sinks Serb hopes for EU talks

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The Independent Online

The UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said she was dissatisfied with Serbia's efforts to arrest genocide suspect Ratko Mladic, who has been evading capture for a decade.

Carla Del Ponte said she will travel to Serbia on Monday to meet with Belgrade officials, who recently drafted an action plan for Mladic's arrest, promising to do all they can to hunt down the fugitive Bosnian Serb general.

Despite the action plan, she said, Serbia needs to cooperate better with United Nations and European Union officials in the hunt for Mladic, who is wanted for allegedly orchestrating the slaughter of as many as 8,000 Muslims by his troops as they swept into the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica toward the end of the war in 1995.

"We have received four reports since the implementation of the action plan, and we have a lot of questions, because we are not satisfied," Del Ponte told reporters in the Finnish capital. Serbia faces U.S. and other international pressure to capture Mladic, who is being sought on genocide charges by the U.N. war crimes court in The Hague, Netherlands. Mladic is believed to be hiding in Serbia under protection from hardliners in the military and police.

Failure to arrest Mladic has blocked Serbia's pre-entry talks with the European Union and led to the suspension of U.S. aid for the troubled Balkan republic. Del Ponte said the EU must keep its suspension of membership talks until the U.N. receives "full cooperation" from Belgrade officials. If Serbian officials keep working the way they have, "they will never locate Mladic," she said. Del Ponte was in Finland on a two-day visit to meet with Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and President Tarja Halonen.

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