Délégation de l’Union européenne en République du Mali

EUFOR BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA Military Operation ALTHEA

30/11/2020 - 17:16
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On 2 December 2004, 9 years after the war ended, the European Union (EU) launched the military Operation ALTHEA in BiH. This followed the decision by NATO to hand over its own peacekeeping mission that had maintained security in the region since the war ended. The EU deployed a robust military force (EUFOR) to ensure continued compliance with the Dayton/Paris Agreement and to contribute to a Safe And Secure Environment (SASE) in BiH.

 

Background

Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), one of the 6 republics that made up the former Yugoslavia, entered a period of bitter war in 1992, a war that cost the lives of over 100,000 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina alone. Finally in 1995, with the assistance of the International Community and NATO, the war was brought to an end with the signing of the Dayton Accords in Paris. The long road to restoring peace and prosperity in this war ravaged nation had begun.

On 2 December 2004, 9 years after the war ended, the European Union (EU) launched the military Operation ALTHEA in BiH. This followed the decision by NATO to hand over its own peacekeeping mission that had maintained security in the region since the war ended. The EU deployed a robust military force (EUFOR) to ensure continued compliance with the Dayton/Paris Agreement and to contribute to a Safe And Secure Environment (SASE) in BiH.

The 2003 Thessaloniki Declaration confirmed that the future of the Western Balkans, of which Bosnia and Herzegovina is both a central and significant part, lies within the EU. Operation ALTHEA is one facet of a comprehensive and coherent EU commitment to BiH. It adds an extra dimension to the existing political engagement, assistance programmes and police and monitoring missions that are already underway. ALTHEA is the third and largest military operation that the EU has embarked upon to date.

Mission & goals

The Mission centres on maintaining  a SASE within BiH by cooperating fully with the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement Agencies and Civilian Authorities of the country. EUFOR supports the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina (AF BiH) with regular combined training serials and large scale annual exercises to achieve the mission goals.

Composition

A total of 20 countries of EU Member States and non-EU Troop Contributing Countries are present within EUFOR, including Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Following several restructuring processes, EUFOR troop levels were reduced to approximately 600 and the Force is now mainly focusing on collective and combined training alongside the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AF BiH).

EUFOR has a Multinational Battalion which enables it to respond as required to support BiH authorities in the maintenance of a SASE. It has never been required to act in this capacity. EUFOR has a small footprint in terms of personnel, but has the ability to quickly bring in reserve forces from around Europe to supplement its capabilities. EUFOR has other assets which enable its work within BiH, including helicopters and an Explosives and Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team. It also maintains a network of 17 Liaison and Observation Teams (LOT) throughout BiH, which liaise with the local community and help to ‘feel the pulse’ of the situation.

An out-of-country Intermediate Reserve Force based within Europe can be called upon to deploy at short notice to boost EUFOR’s troop numbers in the event of a threat to the SASE. This ensures that EUFOR has the capacity to swiftly intervene in support of BiH Law Enforcement Agencies in order to maintain the safe and secure environment if required.

 

@Follow us

Mission/operation website:

www.euforbih.org

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/euforbih

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/euforbih

 

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/euforbih

YouTube:

www.youtube.com/euforbih

                                                           

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