General Ratko Mladic's (left) fugitive status is hurting Serbia's international reputation (file photo) (epa)
17 February 2006 -- The defense minister of Serbia and Montenegro said today he will resign if fugitive war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic is not captured soon.
General Zoran Stankovic, in an interview with the Associated Press, did not give any specific time frame.
Stankovic said until recently, no one in the government of Serbia and Montenegro had seriously worked on capturing Mladic. He said this has now changed and that a real effort is under way.
Stankovic called on Mladic to give himself up voluntarily. He said that by remaining on the run, Mladic was dragging the nation into poverty and international isolation.
Mladic, who commanded Bosnian Serb forces in the 1990s, has been indicted by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague for his troops' massacre of 8,000 Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica -- Europe's worst carnage since World War II.