Last year at this time, as DPC reflected on the turn of the year, we asked ourselves whether in the future, 2016 will be seen in retrospect as the year in which the West decidedly lost faith in liberal democracy and the world order built on its foundations.
Unprecedented developments on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016 brought this fundamental question to the surface: In the US, Donald Trump celebrated a surprise win at the presidential elections after having campaigned on a populist agenda.
As I’m getting ready to leave Sarajevo for a conference to speak on the challenges of violent extremism in the Western Balkans and about my experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I can’t help but wonder if “violent” is the type of extremism I want and need to talk about.
The last week has been like a whirlwind in the region, starting with the ICTY verdict sentencing Ratko Mladić to life imprisonment on November 22, and ending with the public and broadcasted suicide of Slobodan Praljak on November 29, moments after the judges delivered their decision confirming his conviction for war crimes.
Because of his conviction on November 22nd at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Ratko Mladić will most likely die a convicted war criminal. The former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) was found guilty on 10 of the 11 counts with which he was charged: genocide, persecution (a crime against humanity), extermination (a crime against humanity), murder (a crime against humanity), murder (a violation of the laws or customs of war), deportation (a crime against humanity), forcible transfer (a crime against humanity), terror (a violation of the laws or customs of war), unlawful attacks on civilians (a violation of the laws or customs of war), and the taking of hostages (a violation of the laws or customs of war).
3 November 2017 — Kurt Bassuener, Andreja Stojkovski, and Ljupcho Petkovski
Having crushed his political opponents at the local level, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev now must demonstrate his vision of “one society” – and develop a strategy to achieve it.
The second round of municipal elections in Macedonia, held on October 29th, compounded the sweeping victory two weeks ago of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, over the party of his predecessor, Nikola Gruevski, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE).
On Monday, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Yee spoke at the Serbian Economic Summit in Belgrade. In his speech, he told the assembled that the idea of providing diplomatic immunity for Russian personnel at the joint Humanitarian Center in Niš was “not a norm of the international community,” that bringing convicted war criminal Vladimir Lazarević onto the Military Academy teaching staff “was not a good sign of the government’s determination to punish war crimes,” and – most incendiary – that Serbia cannot continue to straddle the EU and Russia.