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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > December
Press Statement (Revised)
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 16, 2004


United States Supports High Representative Ashdown's Actions Against War Crimes Fugitives and Their Supporters

The United States strongly supports High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Paddy Ashdown's actions of December 16 to reform institutions in the Republika Srpska that have obstructed full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and to remove individuals who have failed to uphold their responsibility to apprehend war crimes indictees.

In support of the High Representative’s actions, the United States is freezing the assets of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), as well as two Serbia and Montenegro companies that have provided financial support to Radovan Karadzic and several individuals indicted by the Tribunal. The United States is imposing travel restrictions that will prevent entry into the United States by the leadership of the main parties in the Republika Srpska government, the Serb Democratic Party and the Party for Democratic Progress (PDP). We also are reviewing ways to more directly assist those in the Republika Srpska who are working for a better future as part of Europe and to further isolate those who are holding Bosnia and Herzegovina back.

The United States remains committed to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina assume its rightful place as a full member of the Euro-Atlantic community. Elements within the Republika Srpska are impeding progress towards this goal. NATO foreign ministers on December 9 reiterated that "failure by the Republika Srpska to fulfill its obligations to bring war criminals to justice" is the obstacle preventing Bosnia and Herzegovina from joining NATO's Partnership for Peace program. In nine years the Republika Srpska has failed to arrest even a single Tribunal indictee. Its failure to cooperate fully with International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia constitutes a fundamental breach of the Dayton Accords. It is clear that systemic changes to the Republika Srpska police and security structures are necessary to overcome this obstructionism.

2004/1367


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