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Hunting Monsters: In Conversation with Eric Emeraux

Eric Emeraux is the former Head of the Central Office for Combating Core International Crimes and Hate Crimes (OCLCH), France’s war crimes unit. Prior to that, Emeraux spent five years in Sarajevo as internal security attaché at the French Embassy. His book Hunting Monsters, published in 2023 in the UK, recounts the considerable work achieved with his team to track down war criminals and put an end to impunity.


This written interview was conducted in December 2023.

 

CJLPA: During the five years you spent in Sarajevo as internal security attaché at the French Embassy, you were confronted with the horrors of genocidal wars. What were the most significant challenges you encountered in this position? What impact did this position have on the rest of your career?

 

Eric Emeraux: I was previously specialised in the fight against organised crime and homicide. It was mainly in this area that I worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Being an internal security attaché is an exciting and demanding job. You need a lot of interpersonal skills and humility to get different countries to cooperate and find innovative solutions to combat insecurity. Most of the time, cooperation is simply a matter of interpersonal relations between men and women who are willing to work together, sometimes behind the backs of their administrations. In the end, the fight against arms trafficking, human trafficking, and the fight against terrorism, particularly after 2015 and the wave of attacks that France experienced, were the greatest challenges during these five years.

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