One day after the arrest of Slobodan Milosevic, the U.N. is stepping up international pressure on Yugoslavia to handover the former leader to a war crimes tribunal.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan says he’s confident that Yugoslavia will cooperate with the tribunal, and is urgingboth sides to start talks on how to proceed. The tribunal has nearly completed new indictments against Milosevic forwar crimes in Bosnia and Croatia.
The new indictments would augment the arrest warrant issued against Milosevic on charges linked to the massacres ofhundreds of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and the persecution or displacement of 740,000 people during the 1999 Kosovowar.
Ending a 26-hour standoff, Milosevic surrendered early yesterday after being assured that he wouldn’t immediately behanded over to the war crimes tribunal. Yugoslavia plans to try Milosevic for corruption and abuse of power at home.Milosevic maintained his innocence from behind bars.
The Bush administration was scheduled to certify by the end of March that Belgrade was cooperating sufficiently withthe Hague war crimes tribunal. The certification was required to release $50 million in U.S. aid to Belgrade, and toapprove loans to Serbia from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Bush administration officials say theywill decide today.
Now we go to Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill in Belgrade, who was there for the arrest and attacked byMilosevic supporters.
- Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now correspondent in Belgrade.