Bosnia peacekeepers attacked for obstructing Hague Tribunal

Leading UN war crimes prosecutor, Justice Louise Arbour, used her opening IBA address in Vancouver to attack states and international organisations involved in Bosnian peacekeeping over their reluctance to supply evidence to the Hague tribunal.

She said states that had been observing or peacekeeping in Bosnia had been “reluctant” to give evidence needed to support the prosecutor's work.

She said while states claimed to be “committed” to the “ideal of international criminal justice”, they were unwilling to make “concrete” disclosures involving information which is “politically embarrassing” or against diplomatic self-interest. She said the same was “unfortunately” also true of international organisations.

She said this inertia “or at its worst, obstruction” was a “major impediment” to the prosecutor.

But she praised the African states surrounding Rwanda for co-operating in the Rwandan war crimes tribunal.