Letter to the U.S. Ambassador John Clint Williamson Re the ICTY Mandate

U. S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

His Excellence Ambassador John Clint Williamson,

Dear Mr. Ambassador;

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the Security Council Resolution 827 (1993) with the fundamental aims of: bringing to justice the responsible individuals breaching International Humanitarian Law, bringing justice to victims, discouraging further criminal acts, impeding revisionism, and contributing to the reconciliation process in the territories of the Former Yugoslavia. United Nation, Security Council.

The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) believes that the situation in the territories of Former Yugoslavia remains a threat to the International Peace and Security until all individuals responsible for the committed crimes are brought to justice. The Security Council Resolutions 1503 (2003) and 1534 (2004) call for the ICTY to undertake all possible measures in order to carry through all investigations by the end of 2004, all trial activities at first instance by the end of 2008, and thereby complete all work by 2010. The CNAB believes that it is unacceptable for the ICTY to complete all the work while Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are at large. The Apprehension of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic is a collective responsibility of Serbia, Republic Srpska and the International powers.

Keeping in mind that since the ICTY’s inception till present time, certain countries, entities and organizations directly, in continuity, are opposing or have opposed all Resolutions and Conclusions of the Security Council and thereby precluded the ICTY mandate implementation, and especially the Security Council Resolutions 1503(2003) and 1534 (2004) by means of not apprehending the most responsible individuals for grave breaches of International Humanitarian Law, and keeping in mind that the public majority creates the perception of impunity and therewith allegedly precludes the International Law implementation, CNAB strongly supports the statements given by Ambassador John Clint Williamson, who is the official authority, within the State Department, on issues dealing with war crimes. Ambassador Williamson has stated that he holds Serbia and Montenegro responsible to arrest Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

CNAB is especially encouraged by the statement of Ambassador Williamson that ICTY’s mandate will not expire until such time when Karadzic and Mladic, as well as all others who have been indicted by the ICTY Prosecutor, will have been delivered to ICTY and fully subjected to due process. CNAB, again, insists that ICTY must fulfill its mandate, punish the criminals, satisfy the victims by way of delivering truth and justice, and thus pacify the region just as its founder, Security Council of the United Nations Organization has envisioned. Paying due respect to former Prosecutors Richard Goldstone and Louise Arbour, who laid the foundation for ICTY, CNAB, again, insists that Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte needs to remain until the mandate of ICTY will have been fulfilled. Precious time has been spent in setting up the ICTY, raising indictments, arguing with various states that they are legally bound to cooperate with ICTY, searching for indicted persons and processing lesser cases. The highest profile cases need to be concentrated upon immediately.

CNAB states that the strategic interests of the foreign policy of the United States with respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina are its stabilization, support of its democratic process and progress, economic development, unified market and integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into Euro-atlantic institutions. The United States also have economic interest in the areas of reconstruction of infrastructure, such as energy, transportation and the concept of small, dispersed, mobile military bases.

These economic interests of the United States can only be addressed within the climate of political cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is directly proportional to the truth and justice with respect to the aggression and genocide against Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to the work of ICTY. The capacity of the European Union to influence developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently facing a crisis. Modus operandi within EU with respect to agreeing on common foreign policy does not result in prompt actions. The barriers to membership in EU have been increased. That is why CNAB respects the efforts of the United States and Ambassador Williamson, who has announced to the world that ICTY will complete its mandate and that Karadzic and Mladic, sooner or later, will be brought to The Hague. That is in the best interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region and is also in the interest of the United States in Bosnia and Herzegovina and wider region as well.

The fate of ICTY is in the hands of the Administration of the United States. The actions of Ambassador for War Crimes give us all hope and optimism that the Organization of United Nations, will not, in these crucial times, betray the struggle for truth and justice about aggression and genocide against Bosnia and Herzegovina and terminate ICTY without having subjected Karadzic and Mladic to due process. That would dismantle the high ideals of international law.

Emir Ramic
President of the CNAB