Saturday, March 11, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic is Found Dead

Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic was found dead today in his prison cell. Reports would not confirm the exact cause of death but past reports have commented on his worsening heart and blood pressure aliments. Reports would not confirm if he committed suicide either. The UN war crimes tribunal believed he died of natural causes.

There are speculations, however, that he may have been poisoned Radio Free Europe reports, "Milosevic's lawyer, Zdenko Tomanovic, said that his client had feared that he might be poisoned, comments that will fuel speculation in Serbia and Montenegro about the death of the country's former president. The deputy head of Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia, Milorad Vucelic, has already blamed the tribunal for Milosevic's death, saying its decision to reject his request for treatment in Russia had killed him".

To many his death will bring a sigh a relief - the tyrant is dead. But to many more, his victims and the families he brought pain and grief to, his death robs them of any sense of justice and retribution. After three years of trials, evidence and witnesses it will all come to an abrupt end from no ones fault (presently, we don't know if in fact he was poisoned).

Many believe that in order to live in the present people must deal with the ghosts from the past. In this case, Milosevic, was the embodiment of evil for many, the mastermind behind one of the most horrific wars in recent Balkan history, sentencing him to prison for the rest of his life could have brought a sense of closure and justice to those touched by his policies. This, we found out today, will not happen.

People touched by Milosevic's policies must come to turns with the past and clear out the ghosts that continue to haunt them. It's easier said then done and they already have taken steps in this direction. But they must continue building their economy, their political system and learn to integrate different ethnic cleavages in their region's mosaic. The legacies of tyranny, war and ethnic tension will continue to influence the region and dealing with these challenges will become the litmus test for their success.


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