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Bosnia: NATO To Control Bosnian Serb Police

Washington, 11 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department said Thursday that special police units in Bosnian-Serb-controlled Republika Srpska will now come under the control of NATO forces in the region.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said the decision was announced in Sarajevo following a meeting of U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke with NATO commanders.

Rubin said it is an important development that will restrict the activities of the special Serb police and make it easier to implement Dayton Peace Accords. He said the move will affect police protecting war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic and used by him to intimidate and harrass other Bosnian citizens.

In Sarajevo, NATO and United Nations officials said the new regulations will go into effect on 1 September.

He said the special units, including Ministry of Interior forces will then have to become regular military troops contolled by NATO, or regular, properly trained police officers supervised by the United Nations.