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Spanish CIMIC in Ljubinje

By 1st Lt. Javier Donesteve
First published in
SFOR Informer#111, April 18, 2001

Ljubinje - The Spanish Battle Group's CIMIC Team handed out school supplies and toys from various Spanish institutions to the 430 pupils of Ljubinje Primary School in a ceremony April 2.
The ceremony took place in the school sports pavilion, and was presided by the school director, Mr. Vlado Kocic, Spanish Battle Group Commander Col. Rafael Ruiz de Eguilaz and VRS (Army of the Republika Srpska) brigade commanders, Col. Radoslav Zubac (701st Brigade) and Col. Andelko Milisevic (615th Brigade), who gave speeches. Everybody was then invited to a brunch after the event.
"The CIMIC unit is a very small team composed of five members, integrated in the G5 (Civil Affairs) staff branch," said 1st Lt. Diego Manzano, commanding officer. "For that, we focus our efforts in the triangle Mostar-Stolac-Capljina, where there are 180 resettlements."
"Our tasks are to track down DPREs (displaced persons and refugees) and the places where they live, usually resettlements in the Spanish AOR (area of responsibility). We study their needs and how we can help, what we call projects. The critical point is how to finance them. Sometimes it is done with the money we receive for this purpose, other times in close contact with non-governmental organisations (NGOs)," Manzano said.
"Battle group equipment, like trucks or machinery, are also often involved in CIMIC activities," said Warrant Officer 1 Jesús Hernández. "And through our mediation, some people with health problems have gone to Spain to be operated on. For instance, a boy from Ljubinje with heart problems, who is here today at the school with the rest of the kids"
"We have a few projects in Ljubinje" said Warrant Officer 2 Francisco Alvarez Jurado. "Today we are bringing toys and school supplies to the school, but we also have brought furniture for the public library and cultural centre, and we are working on a great project: to provide a gutter for the town."

Related links: CIMIC
Nations of SFOR: Spain