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US cuts off aid to Serbia over failure to arrest Mladic

[JURIST] The United States has again suspended $7 million government-to-government aid to Serbia for failing to turn over Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. This is the fourth year in a row that the US suspended some aid to Serbia's government [JURIST report] for not handing over war crimes suspects to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] at The Hague. The US embassy in Belgrade said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile] could not certify [press release] that Belgrade cooperated with the ICTY, resulting in the withholding of aid as required by the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Appropriations Act [text]. The act prohibits the US from assisting the Serbian government unless the Secretary of State can certify that the government has taken action to cooperate with the ICTY by allowing access for investigators and surrendering indictees. The US government will, however, continue to aid the Serbian people by spending more than $62 million.

Mladic is wanted [Interpol warrant] in connection with the 1995 slaughter of more than 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica [indictment text] and other crimes against humanity. The ICTY believes he is hiding somewhere in Serbia [JURIST report]. The European Union last month suspended membership talks with Serbia [JURIST report] over its failure to hand over Mladic to the ICTY, prompting Serbia to renew its efforts [JURIST report] to arrest the fugitive war crimes suspect. Reuters has more.

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