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Bosnia: U.S. Urged To Capture War Criminals Before Elections

  • Oleh Oleh Zwadiuk

Washington, 4 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - A group of prominent Americans is urging the U.S. government and its allies to use force if necessary to apprehend indicted Bosnian-Serb war criminals Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

The group, known as the Action Council for Peace in the Balkans, says in a statement that Mladic, Karadzic and all other indicted war criminals should be brought to justice before the Bosnia-wide elections scheduled for later this month.

The Council says failure to arrest the indicted Bosnian Serb leadership before the elections "firmly guarantees a vote that is neither free nor fair," is "poisoning the prospects for even short-term peace," and is contributing to Bosnia's "political disintegration."

The statement was issued last week by the executive committee of the council that includes, among others, former high U.S. government officials, diplomats and members of Congress. Among them are Zbigniew Brzezisnki, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter and Jean Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to United Nations.

The group also called on the United States and its allies to provide greater financial and evidentiary support for the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.