Le visage du diable

NEW YORK – Il y a 13 ans, debout à coté de Slobodan Milosevic sur la véranda d'un chalet  gouvernemental dans les environs de Belgrade, j'aperçus deux hommes à une certaine distance. Sortant de deux Mercédes identiques, dans la lumière faiblissante, ils venaient vers nous. J'ai ressenti comme une secousse à travers tout mon corps, il était impossible de ne pas les reconnaître. Il s'agissait de Ratko Mladic, en treillis militaire, corpulent, marchant comme s'il était au milieu d'un terrain boueux, et Radovan Karadzic, plus grand, en costume, avec sa tignasse de cheveux blancs rebelles, mais soigneusement coiffés.

Apprenant l'arrestation de Karadzic et son arrivée devant le tribunal pour crimes de guerre de La Haye, je me suis remémoré cette longue nuit de confrontation, de drame et de négociation, la seule fois où je l'ai rencontré. C'était le 13 septembre 1995, à cinq heures du soir, au plus fort de la guerre en Bosnie. Après des années de manque de réaction de l'Occident et de l'ONU à l'agression serbe et au nettoyage ethnique des musulmans et des Croates de Bosnie, les bombardements américains dans le cadre de l'OTAN ont mis les Serbes sur la défensive. Notre petite équipe de négociateurs essayait de mettre fin à une guerre qui avait coûté la vie à presque 300 000 personnes.

Milosevic, Mladic et Karadzic étaient la principale cause de cette guerre. Mladic et Karadzic avaient déjà été inculpés en tant que criminels de guerre par le Tribunal pénal international pour l'ex-Yougoslavie. Il faudra attendre 1999 pour que Milosevic soit inculpé à son tour.

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