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The OSCE Swiss Support Unit
changeover personnel

By Pvt. Martina Strub
First published in
SFOR Informer #95, August 30, 2000

Sarajevo - 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.

Related link:
Ous Partners: OSCE