"Hague achieved no reconciliation, but had credible results"

Serge Brammertz says it is hard to disagree with those who say the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) has not achieved reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia.

Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the ICTY, which recently concluded its work, now prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanisms for Criminal Tribunals, spoke before the UN Security Council on Wednesday during a session dedicate to the final report on ICTY's work.

According to him, it becamse obvious over the last two weeks that crimes had left wounds that are yet to heal. "Many still viewed convicted war criminals as heroes while victims and survivors were ignored and dismissed," he said.

According to Brammertz, painful facts are still being openly denied or rejected by pointing out to the crimes committed by others.

"The reality is that there is still no true will within the region to accept the immense wrongdoings of the past and move forward - sadly, most of all among the political leadership," he said.

Too many people listen to war criminals, who hide behind claims of collective responsibility, when in fact no community bore responsibility, Brammertz said.

According to him, the tribunal always insisted on the principle of individual criminal responsibility. "The fact is that crimes have not been committed by nations, but by individuals, and above all, high political and military leaders. I will be crystal clear: no community bears responsibility for what those men have done," Brammertz said.

He underlined that "much remains to be done" as "many victims still await justice."

"The countries of the region need support, as before, they will not be able to achieve justice and reconciliation by themselves," Brammertz said.

The prosecutor said the Hague Tribunal "leaves a rich and complex heritage" because "many victims and survivors have to some extent seen the satisfaction of...

Continue reading on: