22 Jan. 1998

Statement on SFOR's action against indicted war criminals

On 22 January 1998, SFOR acted to detain Goran Jelisic, who is indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY). SFOR troops carried out the detention without incident.

Further details will be provided as soon as they become available, by the operational commanders.

This action was undertaken in accordance with SFOR's mandate which authorizes it to detain such persons when encountered in the course of its duties. This mandate was given to SFOR by the North Atlantic Council under authority contained in the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

As has been the case throughout the IFOR and SFOR missions, we will not tolerate any behaviour by any party contrary to the Peace Agreement. SFOR will continue its firm and even-handed approach to implementing its mandate and supporting civil implementation.

This action by SFOR stands as a further warning to all those indicted for war crimes who are still at large that they, too, will be held accountable. They should take steps immediately to surrender themselves voluntarily to the ICTY. NATO also insists that the parties to the Peace Agreement comply fully with their commitment to transfer indicted war criminals to the ICTY.

I should like to praise the SFOR troops and their commanders for their courage, professionalism and dedication in carrying out this action, which will contribute to the continued consolidation of the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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