Category Archives: Yugoslavia

The Hunt for Ratko Mladić: The Butcher of Bosnia

Ratko Mladić, the Bosnian Serb general accused of killing thousands of civilians at Srebrenica and Sarajevo – the worst atrocities in Europe since the Nazi era, remained a fugitive from justice for 14 years. In yesterday’s Guardian extracts from The Butcher’s Trail were published and Julian Borger tells the inside story of how the mass murderer evaded capture for so long and was finally caught. Of course we plan to get this book soon but in the meantime, here is what Borger, who was the paper’s chief correspondent in the region, said in this phenomenal long read: In July 1997, a Yugoslav army officer named Milan Gunj received an urgent phone call at home in Belgrade. Something strange was happening at work and he was needed immediately. Staff Sergeant Gunj’s job could best be described as that of an army hotelier. He had risen through the ranks from barracks cook and caterer to the rather pleasant task of looking after a string of gated and guarded holiday homes the Yugoslav military had traditionally provided for its top brass. The man calling him on this summer day was a soldier who worked in one of these bucolic retreats, at a place called Rajac in the wooded hills of central Serbia. Some unexpected guests had arrived. The soldier dared not say any more on the phone, but he was insistent Gunj come as soon as possible. Continue reading