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
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."
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