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Bosnia: Srpska Premier Wants To Arrest Karadzic, Mladic

Amsterdam, 5 July 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Republika Srpska Premier Mladen Ivanic says he expects the parliament of the Bosnian Serb entity to soon approve a law on cooperation with the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague. Ivanic said implementation of the law could lead to the arrests of two top war crimes suspects -- former Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladic -- who have been indicted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

"I think, practically, that there is no alternative than to do the job -- which means to arrest the people [war crimes suspects]."

Ivanic spoke yesterday in the Netherlands as he opened a visit to meet with tribunal officials at The Hague.

Ivanic said he did not know the whereabouts of Karadzic nor Mladic, but he urged them to turn themselves in to authorities. Both men are believed to be in hiding somewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Ivanic said he expected the law on cooperation with the UN tribunal to pass through parliament within the next three weeks. The Bosnian Serb government approved a draft of the law on 3 July.

Ivanic acknowledged that Serbia's handover of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague has increased pressure on the Bosnian Serb government to similarly arrest and surrender war crimes suspects.