Justice tardive, justice quand même !

CHICAGO – Le Tribunal pénal international pour l'ex-Yougoslavie (TPIY) a condamné le 24 mars Radovan Karadzic, le dirigeant des Serbes de Bosnie durant la guerre des années 1990 dans les Balkans, à 40 ans de prison pour génocide, crimes contre l'humanité et crimes de guerre. Ce jugement aura des conséquences importantes en matière de droit international et un effet dissuasif sur ceux qui envisageront de commettre des atrocités ; il ouvre également la voie à une réconciliation politique en Bosnie. Pour des dirigeants hors la loi tels que ceux de Syrie, du Soudan, du Sud-Soudan, de Russie ou de l'Etat islamique, c'est un rappel de leur vulnérabilité face à la justice internationale.

Les criminels de guerre potentiels ne sont pas les seuls qui feraient bien de considérer toutes les conséquences de ce verdict. Les discours incendiaires de Karadzic (il a déclaré que les musulmans ne peuvent pas vivre avec les non-musulmans) résonnent encore dans les recoins les plus sombres d'une Europe inquiète qui se débat pour accueillir des centaines de milliers de réfugiés musulmans, ainsi que dans les campagnes présidentielles xénophobes de Donald Trump et Ted Cruz aux USA.

En 1996 j'étais conseiller de Madeleine Albright, alors ambassadrice des USA à l'ONU. Nous sommes intervenus énergiquement auprès du Conseil de sécurité en faveur de l'arrestation de Karadzic. Il avait été inculpé un an plus tôt par le TPIY, ainsi que le général Ratko Mladic, le chef militaire des Serbes de Bosnie, dont le procès est en cours à La Haye. Pendant des années ces deux hommes ont réussi leur cavale, notamment parce que beaucoup de responsables de l'OTAN et des USA n'étaient pas encore prêts à se confronter aux conséquences de leur arrestation.

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