8 August 1996


Press Release
SC/6253



SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES READINESS TO CONSIDER ECONOMIC MEASURES TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH AGREEMENT FOR PEACE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

19960808
In Presidential Statement, Council Condemns Failure to Comply With Orders of International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia

The Security Council this afternoon condemned the failure of the Republika Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to execute arrest warrants against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, as well as the failure of the Bosnian Croat leadership and the Croatian Government to comply with the orders of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia regarding several persons indicted for war crimes.

Through a statement read out by its President, Tono Eitel (Germany), the Council stressed that compliance with the International Tribunal was essential to implementing the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and expressed its readiness to consider the application of economic enforcement measures to ensure compliance by all parties.

The Council noted that, as a first step, Radovan Karadzic had handed over his executive powers in Republika Srpska on 30 June and had agreed to cease all political and official activities. Stressing that all States and concerned parties had an obligation to comply with requests for assistance or orders issued by a trial chamber, the Council demanded the full cooperation of all parties in the immediate execution of all arrest warrants and the transfer to the Tribunal of all indicted persons.

Also by that statement, the Council stressed the importance of the forthcoming elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would allow for the establishment of common institutions and would be an important milestone for normalization in the country. The Council called upon the parties to ensure the prompt functioning of those institutions after the elections.

With respect to Mostar, the Council stressed the importance of the agreement reached by the Bosniac and Bosnian Croat leaderships in that city that had, at last, secured Bosnian Croat participation in a unified city administration on the basis of the election results of 30 June. "The Council expects the Bosniac and Bosnian Croat leaderships in Mostar to implement this


agreement fully and without delay, and stresses that failure to do so would seriously undermine crucial efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina." The Council called on both leaderships to cooperate fully with the European Union Administration of Mostar (EUAM) and called on the Croatian Government to use its influence on the Bosnian Croat leadership to ensure full compliance with its obligations.

Underlining that the continued lack of progress in transferring authority and resources to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a potential danger for the peace implementation process, the Council called on the Federation partners to accelerate their efforts for the establishment of a fully functioning Federation, which was an essential prerequisite for peace in the country.

The Council noted with particular concern that the parties were not implementing their human rights commitments, thus, impeding the return of refugees. It condemned all acts of ethnic harassment and called upon the parties to immediately take the measures identified in the report of the High Representative to stop the trend of ethnic separation in the country and in Sarajevo, and to preserve their multi-cultural and multi-ethnic heritage.

The Council also condemned any threat or act of violence directed against international personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly the United Nations International Police Task Force. It also condemned the obstacles put in the way of forensic investigations carried out by international organizations in the Republika Srpska and in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The parties were called upon to lift those obstacles and to ensure full freedom of movement and safety for all international personnel.

The meeting, which was called to order at 12:49 p.m., was adjourned at 1:06 p.m.

The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1996/34, reads as follows:

"The Security Council has considered the report of the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina annexed to the letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council of 10 July 1996 (S/1996/542).

"The Security Council expresses its full support for the conclusions reached at the Peace Implementation Council in Florence, Italy, on 13-14 June 1996 (S/1996/446). It stresses the importance of the forthcoming elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be carried out in accordance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the annexes thereto (collectively the Peace Agreement, S/1996/999, annex), which will


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allow for the establishment of the common institutions and which will be an important milestone for normalization in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It calls upon the parties to ensure the prompt functioning of these institutions after the elections. It supports the preparatory work done in this regard.

"The Security Council expects the parties to increase their efforts towards the maintenance and further enhancement of conditions necessary to ensure democratic elections, as provided for in article I of annex 3 of the Peace Agreement, and to abide fully by the results of those elections. In that context, the Council stresses the importance of the agreement reached by the Bosniac and Bosnian Croat leaderships in Mostar and facilitated by the European Union Administration of Mostar (EUAM) that has at last secured Bosnian Croat participation in a unified city administration in Mostar on the basis of the election results of 30 June 1996. The Council expects the Bosniac and Bosnian Croat leaderships in Mostar to implement this agreement fully and without delay, and stresses that failure to do so would seriously undermine crucial efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It expresses its full support for the international organizations which are currently working in Mostar, and in particular for the EUAM, and calls on both leaderships to cooperate fully with the EUAM. It calls on the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which bears a special responsibility in this context, to continue to use its influence on the Bosnian Croat leadership to ensure full compliance with its obligations. The Council will continue to follow closely the situation in Mostar.

"The Security Council underlined that the continued lack of progress in transferring authority and resources to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a potential danger for the peace implementation process. The Council calls upon the Federation partners to accelerate their efforts for the establishment of a fully functioning Federation which is an essential prerequisite for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"The Security Council notes with particular concern the conclusions of the report of the High Representative on the implementation of the human rights provisions of the Peace Agreement that the parties are not implementing their commitments in respect of human rights, and that this failure is impeding the return of refugees. It condemns all acts of ethnic harassment. It calls upon the parties to the Peace Agreement to take immediately the measures identified in the report to stop the trend of ethnic separation in the country and in its capital, Sarajevo, and to preserve their multi-cultural and multi-ethnic heritage. The Council deeply regrets the undue delay in implementing measures regarding, inter alia, the development or creation of new independent media and the preservation of property rights, and calls upon each party to implement them immediately. The Council is ready to consider further reports by the Office of the High Representative on all aspects of the implementation of the Peace Agreement, including those mentioned above.


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"The Security Council stresses that, under the Peace Agreement, persons indicted by International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia who have failed to comply with an order to appear before the Tribunal may not stand as a candidate or hold any appointive, elective or other public office in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Any continued holding of such an office is unacceptable. In this context, the Council notes the fact that, as a first step, Radovan Karadzic, after officially handing over his executive powers in Republika Srpska on 30 June 1996, agreed on 19 July 1996 to cease definitively all political and official activities, thus facilitating the electoral process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council expects this undertaking to be implemented fully and in good faith, and will closely monitor further developments.

"The Security Council stresses that all States and concerned parties have an obligation, in accordance with resolution 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993, other relevant resolutions and the Peace Agreement, to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal and to comply without exception with requests for assistance or orders issued by a trial chamber. The Council has considered the letter from the President of the International Tribunal of 11 July 1996 (S/1996/556), which referred to the conclusion of the Trial Chamber of the International Tribunal regarding the failure to execute the warrants of arrest issued against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic due to the refusal of the Republika Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to cooperate with the Tribunal. It condemns this failure to execute these arrest warrants. The Council notes the recent visit by the delegation from the Republika Srpska to the International Tribunal in The Hague for the purpose of discussing all aspects of cooperation with the Tribunal, and expects that cooperation with the Tribunal to bring to justice all persons indicted will be realized. The Council condemns the failure to date of the Bosnian Croat leadership and the Croatian Government to comply with the order of the International Tribunal regarding several persons indicted for war crimes. The Council demands the full cooperation of all parties concerned in the immediate execution of all warrants of arrest and the transfer to the Tribunal of all persons indicted, in accordance with article 29 of the Statute of the Tribunal. The Council further condemns any attempt to challenge the authority of the International Tribunal. The Council underlines the importance of the obligations undertaken by the parties to the Peace Agreement to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal and stresses that failure to arrest and transfer persons indicted by the Tribunal is a violation of these obligations. The Council stresses that compliance with the requests and orders of the International Tribunal constitutes an essential aspect of implementing the Peace Agreement, as provided by previous resolutions; the Council is ready to consider the application of economic enforcement measures to ensure compliance by all parties with their obligations under the Peace Agreement.


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"The Security Council condemns any threat or act of violence directed against international personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular those directed against personnel belonging to the United Nations International Police Task on the territory of the Republica Srpska. It condemns also the obstacles put in the way of forensic investigations carried out by international organizations on the territory of the Republika Srpska, as well as on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It calls upon all parties to lift those obstacles and ensure full freedom of movement and safety for all international personnel.

"The Security Council reiterates its full support for the High Representative and for all international organizations currently working in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Council stands ready to consider the need for further action in order to continue and consolidate the efforts made for full implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Council welcomes all initiatives which will lead to a greater degree of stability and cooperation in the whole region."

High Representative's Report

The report of the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina was transmitted to the Council in a letter dated 9 July from the Secretary-General to the Council President (document S/1996/542). The report provides a detailed account of developments from the beginning of March to the end of June in such areas as economic reconstruction; preparations for elections; freedom of movement; return of refugees and displaced persons; missing persons and mass graves; release of prisoners and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; human rights; mine clearance; and regional stabilization. The report's appendix I contains the Chairman's conclusions of the Peace Implementation Council, which met in Florence from 13 to 14 June. Appendix II covers the implementation of the human rights provisions of the Peace Agreement.

The report's final section, entitled "Looking Forward", states that after six months of peace implementation, the record is mixed. Great progress has been achieved in the daily lives of ordinary people, but "peace as the continuation of war by other means is still dominating over peace as genuine reconciliation after the horrible years of war". The economy is coming back to life, but massive problems remain. While some refugees and displaced persons are returning to their homes, they are mostly returning to majority areas. Further, the number of new refugees and displaced persons generated as a result of the transfers of territories exceeds the number returning after the war.


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The High Representative expresses serious concern with the fact that the parties are not implementing their human rights commitments. Of particular concern is the encouragement or tolerance of ethnic harassment. "This causes the country to drift apart in a development that is contrary to the declared aim of re-establishing a multi-ethnic society." The parties are also not cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal.

The task of organizing elections is far from easy, according to the report. The High Representative expresses particular concern about the lack of objectivity of existing media, and states that he is working to facilitate the development of independent media networks across the country in order to improve the climate for the elections. "The elections are the key to setting up the common institutions without which it is almost certain that the country will continue to be partitioned, or perhaps even drift even further apart."

He stresses that the international community must safeguard the integrity of the structures agreed upon in the Peace Agreement. "We must be firm in preserving the internationally recognized united state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, although this will not be a unitary state, but a highly decentralized one with more extensive devolution of key responsibilities to the two entities than seen anywhere else in the world."

The High Representative goes on to say that in spite of all the obvious problems, "I remain convinced that the goals of the Peace Agreement can be achieved". He adds that it would be naive to believe that this could be done in one short year and that it will happen without an active involvement of the international community. "It is my view that our involvement must not only be longer in time than in 1996, but also wider in geographic scope in view of the interrelationship between the different areas of tension in south-eastern Europe."

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