14 Feb. 1998

Statement by the Secretary General of NATO, Dr. Javier Solana, on the voluntary surrender of 2 Bosnian Serb indicted war criminals

I welcome the decision today of two Bosnian Serbs, Milan Simic and Miroslav Tadic, to surrender themselves voluntarily to SFOR. Both individuals have been indicted for war crimes by the ICTY. They are now being processed for immediate transfer to the custody of the ICTY in The Hague, where they will receive a free and fair trial. NATO has repeatedly made clear that the surrender of persons indicted for war crimes is an essential part of building peace and reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

I hope that the example of Milan Simic and Miroslav Tadic will be followed by other indicted war criminals still at large. They too will be held accountable. They should take steps immediately to surrender themselves to the custody of 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.

SFOR is prepared to provide further support to the ICTY either in securing the voluntary surrender of indicted war criminals or in detaining indicted war criminals in accordance with its mandate.

Further details will be provided by the operational commanders in due course.

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