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Yesterday’s appeals judgment by the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, which recognized their responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, has been long-awaited. This judgment marks the conclusion of the final IRMCT case arising out of the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), closing an important chapter in international criminal justice in the former Yugoslavia. We are grateful for the decades of work by the judges, attorneys, and other court staff of the ICTY and its successor, the IRMCT, and their immense contributions to the rule of law and the fight against impunity.

We also acknowledge and honor the courage and resilience of victims, survivors, and their loved ones who continue to fight for the official acknowledgment of these crimes. We recognize the courage of the thousands of witnesses who participated in this and other trials and without whom justice could not be served. Atrocity crimes convictions underscore individual responsibility and are not a reflection of an entire people. The United States will continue to press for justice, mutual trust, and reconciliation as the foundation for peace and stability.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future