|Last update: 06-Dec-2004 17:27||NATO Update|
NATO’s future role in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The successful termination of SFOR does not spell the end of NATO’s engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A moderately- sized Headquarters led by a Senior Military Representative was established on 2 December, as further proof of NATO’s desire to see Bosnia and Herzegovina move closer to Euro-Atlantic structures.
The principal task of NATO HQ Sarajevo is to provide advice on defence reform and assistance to the Bosnian authorities in reforming the armed forces and eventually moving towards a single military force.
Bosnia and Herzegovina needs assistance in defence reform and to help the country achieve its stated desire to join Euro-Atlantic structures. Significant progress has been made in defence reform over the past year. Nonetheless, further adaptation of the country’s force structure is necessary to make sure that the current defence reforms are consistent with what Allies expect from this process.
NATO HQ Sarajevo will also undertake certain operational tasks, including counter-terrorism whilst ensuring force protection, support to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with regard to the detention of persons indicted for war crimes (PIFWCs) and intelligence sharing with the EU.
The NATO-EU transition in Bosnia and Herzegovina will take place on the basis of the agreed Berlin Plus arrangements which allows the EU access to NATO assets and capabilities. The termination of the SFOR mission and transition to an EU-led force has been carried out in full consultation with the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities. The NATO-EU transition has been formally welcomed by the country’s Presidency.
United Nations Security Council 1575 (2004) adopted by the UN on 23 November 2004 makes clear that Operation ALTHEA and NATO HQ Sarajevo are legal successors to the SFOR mission. As such, EUFOR and NATO HQ Sarajevo enjoy the full authorities under Annexes 1A and 2 of the General Framework Agreement.
A high-level of in-theatre cooperation and coordination
is foreseen between NATO and the EU, in particular on PIFWCs, counter-terrorism
and Intelligence sharing. This is in line with political decisions
taken by both NATO and the European Union.