By Cpl. Nicolas Girault
First published in
SFOR Informer#115, June 13, 2001
A multinational engineer team reconstructed one more bridge.
But this one was built by Yugoslav partisans during WWII, to help
their struggle against fascism and nationalism. What a symbol!
Krkojevci An official ribbon-cutting ceremony
by Sanski Most Mayor Mensure Sabic and Deputy Commander of Multinational
Division - Southwest Brig. Gen. Jamie Balfour on May 31 ended
five days of work for the SFOR engineers.
Dabar Bridge reconstruction is a present from the United Kingdom
to the citizens of BiH.
Located in the British area of responsibility, the work needed
other contingents' support. Ten Canadians from the 24th Field
Squadron, five New Zealanders and one South African supported
about 20 British engineers from the 3rd Armoured Squadron. This
bridge is not the first one to be rebuilt in BiH - ask the engineers
- but this one is a special one, at least for three reasons.
from its history, as Balfour explained, "It is fitting that
a bridge forged in 1942 was used in World War II in the fight
against fascism and nationalism will now be used in the service
of peace to support human rights and restoration to normality."
So, the Dabar Bridge rebuilding is of symbolic value.
Then, from the technical point of view, the structure's age permits
the engineers to familiarise themselves with the old model, "that
only old-timers knew, like me," explained Canadian Staff
Sgt. Allan Ashley.
this 40-metre bridge crossing the Dabar Creek, is not located
on any important road's axis. It is placed on the Livno Road between
the three villages of Krkojevci, Sanjani and Denjari. Sabic, mayor
of Sanski Most, said,
"The building of the bridge will speed up the process of
helping people of all nationalities to return to the area and
assist with the increase of livestock and agriculture in the area,
as well as tourism."
Today in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the main communication way has
been repaired. In this domain, now, the SFOR engineers sometimes
work more for the country itself than for the Stabilisation Force.
That is why Allan said that "it was a carrying out of heart
and mind work."
Nations of SFOR: UK, Canada,
Engineering - bridge