30 March 1998

Peace Stabilisation Force - Operation Joint Guard - Exercise Dynamic Response 98

SFOR weapon site inspections

Capt. Halvor Molland

Sarajevo - Annex I-A of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) says "The purpose of these obligations are to...establish lasting security and arms control measures...". A part of the arms control program are the SFOR weapons site inspections performed all over Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH).

Almost every day, in all three Multinational Divisions (MND's), SFOR troops inspect barracks and weapons storage sites to ensure that all Entity Armies are complying with the DPA. Without prior warning, an SFOR team will enter the gate of a site and demand to inspect them. In 1997 SFOR conducted more than 4,500 site inspections.

"SFOR's role under Dayton is to separate the armed forces. This is done by placing heavy weapons belonging to the Entity Armies into cantonments and auditing them to ensure no unauthorised movement takes place. A part of the audit process are the weapon site inspections," said SFOR spokesman, Maj. Peter Clarke.

All movement of Entity Army weapons and ammunition must be approved by SFOR. The SFOR figures will then be adjusted accordingly. If this is not done, a thorough count during the inspections will reveal surplus or lack of weapons and ammunition. If this is the case, an explanation will be required from the site commander.

"If the site commander cannot give an acceptable explanation, the surplus will be confiscated. SFOR will also confiscate an additional amount of weapons or ammunition, which will be destroyed together with the surplus. The same penalty will be given if SFOR discovers something is missing, according to the figures from the last inspection. An amount of weapons or ammunition, will be confiscated and destroyed," said Clarke.

"On the whole the entity armies are compliant with the DPA. A number of discrepancies do occur but are mainly due to poor administration and book keeping, or a failure to notify SFOR of movement rather than deliberate deception."

First published in SFOR Informer #28, January 28, 1998.

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