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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 22, 1998


Apprehension of Indicted War Criminal Goran Jelisic

I welcome the news that Goran Jelisic has been detained by SFOR forces, led by American units, in the Republika Srpska city of Bijelina. He is now being transported to The Hague for trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Jelisic was indicted by the Tribunal in 1995 for 56 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The SFOR forces acted according to their rules of engagement, which authorize the apprehension of indicted war criminals when encountered in the course of their duties. This was the third such apprehension by SFOR forces, following actions last July and December that resulted in the capture of four indictees and the death of a fifth.

I congratulate the SFOR troops who participated in this effort. The United States continues to support fully the work of the Tribunal to bring indicted war criminals to justice. Jelisic will be the 23rd of 78 indictees brought to The Hague for trial. It is important to recall that most of these were delivered in the last seven months by the parties themselves. We intend to sustain political and economic pressure to assure continued compliance with the Dayton Accords.

We must continue this progress. Today, I call again on all parties to the Dayton Accords to fulfill their obligations to bring all indicted war criminals to justice. Carrying out these commitments is essential for advancing the work of reconciliation in Bosnia.

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