Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Security Council extends European peacekeepers in Bosnia

The Security Council today extended for another year the European Union stabilization force (EUFOR) that is tasked with ensuring that all sides continue to comply with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also expressed its intention to “consider the terms of further authorization as necessary in the light of developments in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

The EU force assumed peacekeeping responsibilities in 2004 when it took over from a stabilization force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which continues to have a presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Yesterday the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, told the Council that the country continues to stagnate politically mainly because of politicians’ reluctance to compromise and engage in dialogue.

He also pointed out that given the negative trends and political instability, it is essential that EUFOR remains in place to continue to assist his office and other international organizations to fulfil their respective mandates.

The Council, in its resolution, “reiterates that the primary responsibility for the further successful implementation of the Peace Agreement lies with the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina themselves.”

It also authorized Member States to take all measures to defend the EUFOR and NATO presence and to assist both organizations in carrying out their missions, and recognized the right of both EUFOR and the NATO presence to defend themselves from attack or threat of attack.