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|Updated: 24-Jan-2003||January 2003|
SFOR restructuring completed
NATO began rationalising its presence in the Balkans in May 2002, in light of the improving security situation in the region. In Bosnia, the process has been completed and SFOR now numbers some 12,000 troops, down from 19,000 at the beginning of 2002.
The restructured force is divided into ten battle groups of around 750 soldiers each. They are commanded by multinational headquarters located in Mostar, Tuzla and Banja Luka. “The restructured force is forward-based and focused on potential trouble spots identified by past experience and careful analysis of the current situation,” said Lieutenant Commander Yves Vanier, SFOR spokesperson. In addition, NATO has a tried and tested capability to bring strategic reserve forces into the country very quickly in the event that they are needed.
The SFOR mandate has not changed and the force continues to help maintain a safe and secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as laid out in the General Framework Agreement for Peace (Dayton Accords) signed in 1995.