Updated: 26-Jun-2000 NATO Press Releases

(2000) 068

25 June 2000

Statement by the Secretary General of NATO
Lord Robertson

On 25 June 2000, SFOR detained Dusko Sikirica, who was under an open indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY). He is now being processed for transfer to The Hague.

Dusko Sikirica was the commander in charge of the Keraterm "prisoner" camp in the opstina of Prijedor between 24 May and 30 August 1992. In his capacity as commander, Sikirica held a position of authority and was superior to all others in the camp. Dusko Sikirica, as the camp commander, is accused of genocide, violation of the laws and customs of war, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions as well as being criminally responsible for the acts of his subordinates in committing murder, torture, inhumane acts, and crimes against humanity.

This is the eighth indicted war criminal apprehended by SFOR since I took office as Secretary General. I want to thank the men and women of SFOR who continue to dedicate themselves to the dangerous work of bringing these individuals to face justice in The Hague. For a lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the people of all ethnic groups must know that justice is being done. I am determined to see that it will be. Our efforts to arrest these indictees will continue unabated. In the meantime, I call on all those indicted for war crimes to turn themselves in.

This action was undertaken in accordance with SFOR's mandate that authorises detention operations for such persons. It was within the mandate given to SFOR by the North Atlantic Council under authority contained in the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

The parties to the Dayton Peace Agreement remain responsible for cooperating in the investigation and prosecution of war crimes and other violations of international/humanitarian law. SFOR will continue to do its part by carrying out its mandate in a firm and even-handed manner.

SACEUR, as overall commander for SFOR, has kept me fully informed of this action. I should like to commend 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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