- Lt. Col. J. P. Gaudin took command of the Swiss Support Unit to
the OSCE (SSU) from his predecessor, Lt. Col. B. Häberli, Aug.
10. It was the last change of command ceremony which will took place
at the Swiss camp in Sarajevo. After four years of presence in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, the SSU will leave BIH by the end of 2000. The decision
to leave was made by the Swiss government in December of 1999.
Over the past four years, the SSU, also called the "Yellow Berets,"
was the main provider of logistics support to the OSCE. The activities
covered by the Yellow Berets were medical supply and care, air transport,
haulage and vehicle support.
Until Aug. 1, the Swiss Federation also provided the OSCE with two
aircraft for transporting people and cargo throughout BiH from Zürich
to Sarajevo. The suspension of the aircraft's use is an indication
that the SSU will leave BiH in just a few months.
Another indication is the composition of the present contingent. It
consists of dismantling teams, who will dismantle the three regional
bases in Mostar, Banja Luka and Tuzla. Thus, the SSU locations will
be closed gradually - the regional bases in Mostar and Tuzla by the
end of August and Banja Luka by the end of December. The equipment
from the regional bases will be taken to the Sarajevo HQ where it
will be cleaned and packed for the transport back to Switzerland.
The Sarajevo HQ will be the last to be closed in March 2001. The period
from January to March is reserved for the dismantling of the Sarajevo
HQ, and the transport of about 800 tons of equipment.
The tasks to be fulfilled by the last Swiss unit in BiH are different
compared to those of the former contingents. However, the SSU will
assist in road transportation one last time during the November elections,
as has been the case from 1996-2000.
Ous Partners: OSCE