The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 15, 2001

Participation of U.S. Forces in Apprehension of an Indicted War Criminal

U.S. Forces in the NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia (SFOR) participated today in the apprehension of Colonel Dragan Obrenovic, who is indicted by the UN War Crimes Tribunal for his involvement in the July 1995 attack on Srebrenica.  Colonel Obrenovic is being transferred to The Hague where he will join General Radislav Krstic, who is already on trial for his role at Srebrenica after having been apprehended by SFOR in December 1998.

Srebrenica represents one of the darkest episodes in the recent tragedy that befell Bosnia.  The UN indictment recites that thousands of Bosnian Muslim men were summarily executed as part of a systematic military operation to cleanse that city of its Muslim population.  This barbaric operation was conducted under the overall command of Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, who are also indicted by the UN and who also deserve to face justice in The Hague.

This apprehension demonstrates that NATO and the United States remain committed in helping to bring indicted war criminals to justice as an essential step in consolidating the peace and promoting the rule of law in Bosnia.

The President wishes to express his appreciation to the American servicemen and women who are spending this Easter holiday in Bosnia and elsewhere in the region in the service of our country and the NATO Alliance.  The prayers of a grateful nation are with them.


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