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Robertson: signal to Bosnia

West "Getting Tough" with Suspected War Criminals

The Defence Secretary, George Robertson, has said that the operation to capture two alleged war criminals in Bosnia by British special forces on Thursday signalled a stronger international determination to bring such people to trial.

"This was a signal. This was a start," he told BBC 1's Breakfast with Frost. "These people have got to face justice, and we are determined internationally that they are going do to so."

His comments came on the day the funeral was taking place of the Bosnian Serb police chief, Simo Drljaca, shot dead by British soldiers who were trying to arrest him on war crimes charges. He was honoured as a fallen hero by the Bosnian Serb authorities during commemorations in his home town, Prijedor.

Bosnian Serb buried with full military honours
In the operation on Thursday, the troops also arrested the director of Prijedor hospital, Milan Kovacevic, who is wanted for complicity in genocide against Bosnian Moslems and Croats during the war.

Mr Robertson said the action showed the 34 nations involved in Bosnia were increasingly impatient at the failure of the Bosnian state authorities to live up to their undertakings in the Dayton peace treaty.

"They said they would do certain things, they are simply not doing them. And one of the things they are not doing is bringing to book those who have been accused in the International Court [of Justice at The Hague] of these terrible crimes," he said.

Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997

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