Slobodan Milosevic has finally taken the stand at the international war crimes tribunal at the Hague to defend himself against charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. But although he is the tribunal's biggest catch, whether or not he is convicted probably means little to the people of the Balkans. As president of Yugoslavia, Milosevic watched as hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered and many times more forced from their homes. The ethnic and religious divisions his army caused in the Balkans during the 1990s remain deep, despite almost eight years of United Nations' peacekeeping presence and Milosevic's popular overthrow. Hundreds of years of peaceful co-existence by Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Kosovars were obliterated. If the peacekeepers pulled out of cities such as Mostar, the killing would resume. Milosevic has been quick to blame British and American funding and alleged Western media propaganda for the war in Bosnia and the Kosovo conflict. Despite his arrest, he still has strong support among Serbs. The new Yugoslav leadership has been strangely quiet about the events at the Hague. The tribunal also lacks many of the top leaders who worked beside Milosevic. They and their thousands of lieutenants remain free and there has been little resolve from Yugoslavia and Serbia to hand them over. The tribunal has shades of the trials of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg more than half a century ago. For most, those trials represented a type of reconciliation following the 20th century's worst chapter. Since then, bitter enemies have become co-operating friends. But that is unlikely to be the fruit of Milosevic's trial. The scars have not even started to heal and it is the responsibility of the international community to take more positive action, such as in the form of a South African-style reconciliation process, to bring peace back to the Balkans.