U.S. Places Sanctions on Bosnian Serb Officials
The United States imposed sanctions on Bosnian Serb political leaders Thursday for failing to arrest and turn over war crimes suspects to an international tribunal.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that, under the sanctions, any assets the Serbian Democratic Party had in the United States would be frozen. In addition, he said, any members of that party or its partner, the Party for Democratic Progress, would be banned from entering the United States.
The leader of the PDP is Mladen Ivanic, foreign minister in the Bosnian Serb government.
Since its 1992-95 war, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been divided into two ministates: the Bosnian Serb republic and a federation of Muslims and Croats. Each has its own army, police and government linked by common state institutions. The Bosnian Serb police and army are suspected of protecting war crimes suspects believed to be hiding in their territory.
Bosnian Serb officials declined to comment on the sanctions.
Meanwhile Thursday, Bosnia’s top international administrator, Paddy Ashdown, fired nine Bosnian Serb officials accused of helping fugitives wanted by International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, based in The Hague.