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Serbia

Yearbook 2011

Serbia. After 16 years of escape from international justice, former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladić was arrested in May. According to Countryaah official site, Serbian special police found Mladić in a relative's house in the province of Vojvodina. Within a few days, he was transferred to the War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. Before the court, he rejected all allegations of, among other things, genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1990s war in Bosnia.

2011 Serbia

In July, Goran Hadžić was also arrested in a village north of Belgrade when he tried to sell a stolen piece of art by Modigliani. Hadžić was the last to be apprehended by the 161 people charged by the Hague Tribunal. He was also extradited to face trial for war crimes, in his case in the Serbian Extermination Republic of Krajina in Croatia.

The arrests were a decisive step in approaching the EU. In October, the European Commission issued a clear sign for Serbia as a candidate country. The EU praised legal reforms implemented, with enhanced human rights protection and an alignment with EU rules.

At the same time, membership negotiations seemed distant as long as Serbia did not normalize relations with Kosovo. The Belgrade government maintained that it would never recognize the independence of the former Serbian province. The situation was tense, especially south of the border where Kosovo Serbs protested against attempts to staff the border with Kosovo's own police. A planned Pride festival in Belgrade in September was banned with reference to public safety. The concern was great for a repeat of the violence that characterized the festival last year. The organizers accused the authorities of succumbing to right-wing violent perpetrators. In the politically divisive Serbia, many were excited about the opportunity to jointly pay tribute to Serbian tennis professional Novak Đoković, who won three Grand Slam titles during the year and was ranked as the world's best tennis player.

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