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Berlin wants EU peacekeepers to stay in Bosnia

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Berlin wants EU peacekeepers to stay in Bosnia
File photo of Jung in Bosnia this February. Photo: DPA

German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung has said that the EU’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia should remain in place for now.

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“There is a link between the OHR (Office of the High Representative) and EUFOR,” Jung told reporters of the EU force late on Tuesday.

“One cannot say that the task of EUFOR is achieved until the one of OHR is completed,” he said after meeting Bosnia’s tripartite presidency. Earlier this month EU defence ministers backed a plan to phase out the bloc’s peacekeeping operation in Bosnia but set no date for doing so. EUFOR currently has 2,100 troops deployed here.

The High Representative, currently Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, is supervising civil aspects of the 1995 peace agreement that ended Bosnia’s bloody inter-ethnic war.

The post was due to be phased out in 2007 and replaced with an EU representative. However, the mandate was extended for an unspecified period because of political instability and the failure of local politicians to pass reforms required by Brussels.

Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb representative in Bosnia’s presidency, said after meeting Jung that he hoped “EUFOR remains for a while in Bosnia-Hercegovina.”

Bosnia’s 1991-1995 war claimed some 100,000 lives. It left the country split into two highly-autonomous entities—the Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

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