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„Truth and reconciliation on their own have no true resonance without the prosecution of the perpetrators“

Sarajevo |

The students of the postgraduate programme of New York University (NYU), USA, travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to gain an insight into the practical experiences of institutions and organizations involved in the process of transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia. Almir Alić, ICTY Registry Liaison Officer in BiH, acquainted a group of around twenty students with the experiences of the Outreach program which was established in order to ensure effective communication between the Tribunal and the communities in the region most affected by the work of this institution. Students from New York showed a particular interest for the experiences of working with young people and their perceptions of war crimes trials. Questions asked touched upon the broader context of dealing with the past, and included issues such as redress for victims and institutional reforms that are a prerequisite for the post-conflict recovery of the communities.

The necessity of preservation of the Tribunal’s rich legacy and for it to be presented and made available for wider use after the official closure of this institution, were emphasized in numerous comments made by the students.

Yacine Sanogho, a Master’s programme student at NYU, shared her thoughts on this topic, stating: I strongly believe that the Outreach Programme should continue to exist when the ICTY closes its doors. Justice alone is not sufficient to establish peace and prevent future atrocities from recurring, as much as the truth and reconciliation on their own have no true resonance without justice and prosecution of the perpetrators”.