November 2001

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BRCKO DE-MILITARISATION

STATUS

BRCKO: On 8 March 1999, the Supervisor of Brcko put into force the Statute of the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), resolving the last major disputed area remaining after the signing of the GFAP. A multi-ethnic governing body and a multi-ethnic police force are now in place. To make this political resolution possible, the Armed Forces (AF) in BiH, under SFOR supervision, disbanded or relocated all their military units in the District, collected and destroyed all small arms, and ensured compliance with an Instruction to Parties concerning military transit.

Milestone Towards Peace

Following detailed and lengthy consultation with the BiH AF in November 1999, COMSFOR issued a final decision on how de-militarization was to be achieved. A key factor in making this decision was the initiative by the Tri-Partite-Presidency to reduce the size of the BiH AF by some 15 % by the end of 1999. Each of BiH Armed Forces destroyed an equivalent amount of weapons. "The cooperation shown by the…(BiH)…Armed Forces is seen as a significant example of their commitment to a peaceful solution to the Brcko de-militarisation," said then COMSFOR, Lt. Gen. Ron Adams.

Three main stages of de-militarisation

* Disbandment of units
* Weapons Disposal
* Relocation of remaining units

The Federation Army disbanded the equivalent of one reserve brigade and one regular battalion from each of the Bosnian-Croat and the Bosniac elements. The Republika Srpska Army has disbanded the same number of units. The five Republika Srpska Army units that were not being disbanded have been re-located to sites identified and approved by SFOR.

Weapons destruction

The three elements of the BiH AF each destroyed:
* 1388 rifles up to 7.9 mm
* 796 light or medium machine guns up to 12.7 mm
* 105 light mortars up to 73 mm
* 23 anti - tank rocket launchers
* 185 grenade launchers.
Weapons were destroyed on January 5, 12 and 17, 2000; witnessed by representatives of all BiH AFs and SFOR

Bottom line

The Brcko District has been completely demilitarised. The District is now governed by a multi-ethnic body operating under the supervision of the Office of the High Representative and the United Nations.