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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 3, 2001

Statement by the President on Bringing War Criminals to Justice

I welcome today's transfer to the UN International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of three military officers accused of war crimes by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This decision, like similar decisions by the governments in Croatia and Yugoslavia, shows that the democratic governments of the region are taking seriously their international obligations and the need to make a break from the violence and atrocities of the past.

I also welcome the decision of the Tribunal convicting General Radislav Krstic of genocide in the 1995 massacre of Muslims from Srebrenica. I welcome and fully support the Tribunal's judgment. Those who commit war crimes must face justice. As I said in Kosovo, we must not allow difference to be a license to kill, and vulnerability an excuse to dominate.

These two important steps advance the cause of justice, but also help to consolidate peace and promote rule of law. They bring closer to reality our vision in which the countries of the Balkans are part of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

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