By 2nd Lt. Alexandre Barbé
First published in
SFOR Informer#111, April 18, 2001
About 100 SFOR soldiers deployed April 6 in the
centre town of Orasje to enter the local agency of the Hercegovacka
Banka (HB). The operation was done on request from the Federation
government and the Office of the High Representative (OHR). There
were no incidents to report.
On April 14 at the end of the day, SFOR had removed tanks and
other weapons from four storage sites in the town of Orasje to
put them under the control of soldiers loyal to the Federation.
Those weapons were stored in the barracks of the 4th Motorised
guard Brigade of Orasje and in Donja Mahala, a village close to
the city. The operation happened without incident.
other events happened during last weekend in that town located
about 200 km up north of Sarajevo, near the Croatian border. The
situation remained tense for a few days following the resignation
of Col. Tomo Knezevic, former commander of the 4th Brigade. He
called all the soldiers under his command to desert. A demonstration
that gathered about 1,000 people was held in the streets of the
town April 12. There were no incidents to report.
SFOR, particularly American soldiers from Camp McGovern, keeps
on its mission of watching over weapon storage sites.
One week before, on April 5, some civilians and members of Bosnian-Croats
veteran war associations entered the barracks and the headquarters
of the 4th Guard Motorised Brigade "Sinovi Posavine"
(the sons of Posavina) in Orasje and the headquarters of the 4th
Division in Odzak.
Those barracks had been locked after they were abandoned by the
troops after Mr. Ante Jelavic's appeal to desert in late March.
They were about 500 protesters to gather in the streets of Orasje
on Thursday April 5. After the negotiations with SFOR and the
commandant of the 4th Brigade, they left the barracks and the
headquarters. On the other hand, that same day, civilians entered
some of the eight weapon storage sites in Orasje. However, the
Federation troops kept on ensuring the control of the sites. SFOR
showed its presence and support by increasing its patrols in the
Canton 2 (also called "Posavina") has a particular geographical
location. It's cut out of the rest of the Federation by Republika
Srpska. Orasje is the site of one of the four brigades that build
the Bosnian-Croat part of the army of the Federation. At the moment,
according to Mr. Mijo Anic, the Federation Minister of Defence,
83 percent of the military brigade had already signed again contracts
with the Federation's army. Thus, they show their will to remain
within their units.
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