CIMIC course

Maj. Pellumb Elezi
First published in
SFOR Informer#153, December 5, 2002

Between 18-22 Nov. SFOR held a five-day Civil Military Co-operation (CIMIC) course at Camp Butmir and at the 'Army Hall' in downtown Sarajevo. The course discussed ways to help the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) rebuild their country by working with local leaders, Non-Governmental and International Organisations .

Camp Butmir - "This is the 4th CIMIC Course held in 2002. There were 56 students (Officers and NCOs) from 16 nations. We had five students from each of the two Armed Forces in BiH. This was the largest ratio of local people we have ever had," said U.S. Maj. Kevin Nykanen, Course Director.
Objectives and signs of hope
The course is a vital link that co-ordinates the efforts of civilians and SFOR to establish Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in accordance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP). "The course will provide the individual participant with a theoretical understanding of NATO CIMIC, as executed within SFOR in BiH. Based upon that understanding, the participants will be prepared to perform CIMIC duties within SFOR formations, Headquarters and EntitIES’ Armies," said Nykanen.
A main part of the CIMIC course is teaching people how to help themselves. "This is a new experience for me. I want to be a good specialist and in this course I am learning a lot of things. We learned how to help our people," said Capt. Zeljko Josipovic, from the Republika Srpska (RS) Army. Maj. Celik Muris, who works within CIMIC in the Federation (Fed.) Army, attended also the course. "I'm pleased to be here. I attended the four previous courses. This is my fifth CIMIC course and always I learn something new. Through those courses, we are trying to develop our own civil-military department. This course will be a good experience for me," said Muris.
Field trip
The course included a field trip to see the results of a CIMIC operation first-hand. One group of the students started at lunchtime when they left Camp Butmir. Fifty minutes later they arrived at the village of Turovi that belongs to the Opstina (municipality) of Trnovo RS. During the war, the village was destroyed and its inhabitants driven out. Displaced persons from Turovi occupied apartments in Sarajevo, which had to be cleared to return them to their Bosnian-Serb owners again. More than 80 families wanted to return to Turovi. The municipality agreed to the return of the displaced persons. A programme initiated by the Canton of Sarajevo (Fed.) supported 40 families and they were supplied with construction materials.
Projects
The project survey for Turovi started with a first reconnaissance in May 2000. Through continual reconnaissance it was noticed that the returnees were eagerly working to clear their destroyed houses. That convinced the CIMIC teams that they were determined to return to their pre-war homes. "Our tasks range from the rebuilding of destroyed or partly destroyed houses of Displaced Persons and Refugees who are willing to return, to repairing the destroyed infrastructure," said Capt. Anton Maurer, leader of Project Team 1 with the German CIMIC Company.
A total of 22 house requests were submitted, at a cost of 200,000 Euros. The European Union funded this project. "In the beginning it was important that the people had a roof over their head, in the meantime the focus of our tasks shifted towards the rehabilitation of infrastructure," said Sgt. 1st Class Detlef Langer, Deputy Project Team 1.
The second project was aimed at creating adequate access road including a bridge, 1900m long, between the villages of Pendicici to Barice. The Office of the High Representative supported this project. Now, after completion of the road, access to the village of Barice is possible again. This was the precondition for the return of 11 Bosnian-Serb families.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Germany
CIMIC

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Photos: Sgt. Diego Roper Pastor

The village of Turovi is today located in the RS. During the war, the village was heavily destroyed and its inhabitants driven out. Now, more than 80 families want to return to Turovi.


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Students looking at the completed works.


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A group of students going to see the results of the German CIMIC operation first-hand.


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The German CIMIC is in charge of creating an adequate access road including a bridge between the villages of Pendicici and Barice.