New report on Srebrenica massacre should spur action against perpetrators - Annan

15 November 2004

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said a new Bosnian Serb report on the 1995 massacre against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica should lead to action against the perpetrators.

A spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement that the Secretary-General welcomed the conclusions of the authorities of the Republika Srpska - the Serb entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina - and in particular "the condolences conveyed to the relatives of the victims as well as its apology for the tragedy in Srebrenica."

The Republika Srpska authorities and the panel, formally as the Commission for Investigation of the Events in and around Srebrenica between 10 and 19 July 1995, have "set an example of confronting the painful past of the war, facing the truth about the events which occurred during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina," spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

"This courageous act contributes to building of trust among the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the process of reconciliation," he added.

At the same time, the spokesman emphasized the Secretary-General's expectation that the Srebrenica Commission Report and the Republika Srpska Government's commitment to bring to justice all those who committed war crimes "will now lead to concrete actions."

The statement said the report should "encourage leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to start the process that will allow them to candidly consider events from the past."

Between 7,000 and 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered in Srebrenica in July 1995. The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has confirmed that the notorious massacre constituted a crime of genocide by the Bosnian Serbs.