From Dayton to Brussels
Lt. Anne-Claude Gouy
First published in
SFOR Informer#154, December 19, 2002
A key milestone for the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(BiH) towards Europe takes place on Dec. 31, 2002. The European
Union Police Mission (EUPM) will follow on from the International
Police Task Force (IPTF). The main mission of the EUPM will
be to help the BiH authorities develop local police forces
by monitoring, mentoring and inspecting, always in co-operation
Sarajevo - The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina
(UNMIBH) will finish at the end of this year and the IPTF
mission will be transferred to the EUPM. However, even though
the official date is Dec. 31, 2002 at midnight, the 'technical'
transfer has already taken place.
"For five months, with method and strictness, executive
personnel of EUPM have worked beside their IPTF colleagues,
in order to grow familiar with records and working methods,
and ensure good continuity," said Senegalese Col. Bamalick
N'Diour, senior advisor to the IPTF Commissioner. "Having
managed the operations department for two years, I can tell
that this hand-over is being done in perfect co-operation
and softly, to keep safe the International Community actions
installed over seven years," added N'Diour.
On March 11, 2002, the United Nations' General Affairs Council
established the EUPM in BiH, which will be the first civilian
crisis management operation initiated under the European Security
and Defence policy. On the same date, the Council of the European
Union appointed Danish Police Commander Sven Frederiksen as
police commissioner for the IPTF, and then the EUPM.
No weapons and a blue beret
15 countries from the EU and 17 non-EU will work together,
under the initials EUPM, and in co-operation with SFOR, as
IPTF did up until now. One example of this co-operation was
the training last February of 88 police officers of the two
Entities by the IPTF and the Multinational Specialised Unit
(MSU) from SFOR. "We have very close relationship with
SFOR. We don't have any weapons, so SFOR is responsible of
our security and safety. And we are still working very closer,"
said Dutch Col. Ronald Dongor of the EUPM.
This close co-operation will be the same, even if the conditions
will be a little different. The EUPM will number about 900
officers, whereas the IPTF had 2,000. But the level of responsibility
will also change. The EUPM will be in charge of monitoring,
mentoring and inspecting BiH police managerial and operational
capacities, and take a part in the administration of justice.
"It will be a work of co-operation. But we will be the
co-pilot, not the leader. We have to help local people to
trust in their police, not in our own," explained French
Police Commissioner Gilles Hardy, EUPM liaison officer with
SFOR. In fact, within the context of its mandate, the EUPM
will be responsible for assisting the BiH police to develop
the ability to deal with organised crime.
The succession of a world organisation such as the IPTF by
the European-led EUPM is another sign of the progress of Bosnia
and Herzegovina towards European integration.
Our Partners - IPTF