He graduated from Yugoslavia's military academy in 1965 and joined the Yugoslav Communist Party that same year.
In the early 1990s, he was assigned to the Knin garrison, where the first assaults by Croatian Serbs against the Yugoslav Federation were taking place. After the 1992 ceasefire, he was made head of the Bosnian Serb army and organized the siege of Sarajevo.
The Serbian government has been close to arresting Mladic on several occasions but he evaded capture every time, leaving authorities baffled.
The ICG's Lyon said there must be continued support and pressure for his arrest. "Over the years Serbia has always said, There are no war crime indictees in Serbia, and yet they keep coughing them up in fits and starts, depending on political expediency," he said.
"So, it's very clear - Mladic is in Serbia, he can be arrested by the Serbian authorities, provided there's the political will," Lyon added, "We need to say, Let's get it over with. There are only two more left."