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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 18, l997


I am deeply saddened by the deaths in Bosnia yesterday of five dedicated Americans serving the cause of peace. David Kriskovich, Deputy Commissioner of the International Police Task Force (IPTF); Leah Melnick, Human Rights Officer with the Office of the High Representative; Livio Beccaccio, Senior Advisor to Deputy Commissioner Kriskovich; Marvin Padgett, IPTF Training Coordinator and Police Monitors; and William Nesbitt, Bosnia Program Manager for the Justice Department's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) perished when a UN helicopter crashed on its way from Sarajevo to Bugojno and Brcko.

Also lost in this tragic accident were five German citizens, including Ambassador Gerd Wagner, Senior Deputy High Representative, as well as a British and a Polish citizen.

These men and this woman were serving the cause of peace and reconciliation, dedicated to building under exceptionally difficult circumstances what was envisioned at Dayton almost two years ago. The selfless commitment of such talented people is inspiring. We are determined to carry forward their vital work.

My heartfelt sympathy is extended to the Kriskovich, Melnick, Beccaccio, Padgett, and Nesbitt families as well as the families of their colleagues. May they take comfort in the good works of their loved ones, for as the scripture tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."

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