Kavalec: Justice for Victims and Survivors is essential to Building Lasting Peace

“Today’s verdict closes an important chapter in pursuing justice for victims and survivors of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed in BiH,” said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kavalec said that the verdict is a crucial step toward holding accountable individuals responsible for these crimes. “Justice for victims and survivors is essential to building lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to upholding the rule of law. Our thoughts are with the survivors and the families of all victims of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.”

The BiH Presidency, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement, reminded “of the obligation to sympathize with the pain and suffering of members of all peoples and citizens, and the obligation to show respect to all innocent war victims”.

“In line with these words, the Mission urges everyone in BiH to work towards promoting peace and reconciliation, to show compassion for victims and survivors by respecting the verdicts of international and domestic judicial institutions, and to refrain from divisive and offensive rhetoric,” said Kavalec.

“The Mission reminds that criminal responsibility is attributed to individuals and urges all to refrain from construing the verdict as being directed against any ethnic group,” said Kavalec.

“While the Mission recognizes today’s verdict as a positive development, the fact remains that many crimes committed during the conflict remain unanswered. The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to support the judiciary of BiH with the processing of war crimes cases in BiH in accordance with the Revised National War Crimes Processing Strategy and internationally recognized fair trial standards,” concluded Kavalec.

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