Ratko Mladic arrest: timeline of the war criminal hunt

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The Independent Online

Key dates in the life of General Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander charged with genocide and crimes against humanity by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands:

1942: Born in south-eastern Bosnian village of Bozinovci.

1945: His father, a Second World War guerrilla fighter, is killed, allegedly by Croat pro-Nazi forces.

1961: Ratko Mladic starts military education.

1992: Having risen through the ranks to become a general, he takes command of newly formed Serb army in Bosnia. Launches siege of Sarajevo; moves to take control of large swath of Bosnia where Serbs established their self-styled rebel republic.

1994: Splits from Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic.

1995: Launches operation to capture UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica, allegedly orders massacre of some 8,000 Muslim boys and men in Europe's largest massacre of civilians since Second World War. Indicted by UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

1997: Replaced as commander of Bosnian Serb army. Assumes low profile but is often seen in Belgrade and elsewhere in Serbia, where he enjoys protection from the military and the government of President Slobodan Milosevic.

2002: Goes into hiding after Milosevic is ousted. Serbia's new pro-Western authorities revoke his military escort.

2010: Serbia's government increases its reward for the capture Mladic from one million euro (£870,000) to 10 million euro (£8.7 million).

May 26, 2011: Mladic is arrested in Serbia.