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Volunteering to Protect War Crimes Investigators

The front-page article "Prosecutors Seek Access to Graves," Dec. 14, suggests that the Dayton Peace Accord does not require the Implementation Force (IFOR) to protect investigators for the war crimes tribunal. If so, some veterans from our last four wars (including the undersigned) and others, I am sure, would be prepared to volunteer.

The delay, however, would adversely affect collection of evidence and witnesses. Therefore the North Atlantic Council (NAC), a body of NATO nations' representatives, should promptly make protection of tribunal investigators an IFOR responsibility.

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As in Rwanda, there can be no lasting peace, no end to the spread of genocide unless justice is done.

Led by the United States, doubts as to IFOR's duty to protect investigators should be promptly eliminated by the NAC, which has authority to do so under the peace accord.

It is time to accept the risk of serving justice and preserving peace - as local police do every day.

H. Francis Shattuck Jr.

New York

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to "Readers Write" and sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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