SFOR inspects the GOF 'Cajavec' in Banja Luka

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Maj. Pellumb Elezi
First published in
SFOR Informer#156, January 23, 2003

On Jan. 17, 2003 Multinational Brigade Northwest (MNB-NW) carried out an announced inspection of a Government Ordnance Factory. A GOF is considered as a Government Facility, defined as any factory, process, plant, facility, workshop or undertaking, government or privately owned, used for the manufacture of military items or their repair. The company, named 'Rudi Cajavec' and manufacturing electromechanical devices and spare parts, is located in Banja Luka. The inspection was conducted as part of the Instructions to the Parties (ITP) that requires SFOR to monitor all GOF Sites across Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The inspection of Government Ordnance Factories (GOF) is fully in line with Annex 1A of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP). "The Parties understand and agree that in carrying out its responsibilities, IFOR (now SFOR*) shall have the unimpeded right to observe, monitor, and inspect any Forces, facility or activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina that IFOR (SFOR) believes may have military capability. The refusal, interference, or denial by any Party of this right to observe, monitor, and inspect by IFOR (SFOR) shall constitute a breach of this Annex and the violating Party shall be subject to military action by IFOR (SFOR), including the use of necessary force to ensure compliance with this Annex."
* Under UN Security Council Resolution 1088 of Dec. 12 1996, SFOR was authorised to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement as the legal successor to IFOR.

Banja Luka - The aim of the ITP is to provide the parties with COMSFORS's Instructions in order to clarify policy and provide clear direction. The parties are required to comply with the Military aspects of the GFAP and the ITP. SFOR retains the right to inspect all imports, exports, and internal factory shipments of all weapons and ammunition as they may have military aspect. If required, seals will be broken and a detailed inventory conducted to ensure accurate declarations. GOFs are to be inspected by the respective MNBs on a 180 days basis.

A short briefing
Before the inspection was conducted, a short briefing was held in Camp Metal Factory, Headquarters of MNB-NW in Banja Luka, to pass basic information to the attendees. The inspection was conducted in a safe and professional manner with minimum disruption to the workers and production as it took place at the end of the working week. "This is a straightforward inspection and it is conducted by SFOR according to its mandate," said Canadian WO Glenn Miller, VRS (Army of Republika Srpska) Desk Officer Joint Military Affairs (JMA) MNB NW.

Multinational team
The inspection team was comprised of personnel from different countries belonging to JMA HQ SFOR and to MNB-NW, this includes Australia, Austria, Canada, United Kingdom and United States. All of them are skilled experts in different fields. The professional level is an important factor in carrying out of the inspection of a big factory. "SFOR team is carrying out this site inspection professionally, as always they do," said Liliana Vujakovic, the interpreter.

A man and his keys
The timing of the inspection was aimed to minimise the impact on the production schedule. There was no forcible entry and the 'Cajavec' management was co-operative throughout. The team checked a certain number of buildings, laboratories, wards and
warehouses. In general the responsible key-holder ensures that all doors are open. However on this particular day he was not available. Consequently, the inspection team had to choose another way to come into those facilities. The team was forced to cut several padlocks to ensure an accurate inspection. At about 11:50 a.m. when the check was at the end, the responsible key-holder of this site showed up and complained about SFOR's action. He said that he had the keys but he didn't know anything about this inspection. The Team leader, Australian Capt. Lucas Sunders, JMA MNB-NW, replied that the inspection warning has been sent to 'Cajavec' three weeks in advance. A prior notification was and is the regular procedure. In fact the Company management did not provide the internal information flow. Sunders asked to have a look on fuses, which have been an issue to an internal shipment request one month ago. And then, the responsible key-holder immediately arranged an entry to another storage site located in Banja Luka. Then the team proceeded to the other location and subsequently counted the figures of the stored fuses. To gain a wider picture the Company's representatives have been asked for additional information. At 3:00 p.m. the inspection team left the site and travelled back to Metal Factory carrying all the needed information.

Mindful evaluation needed
All day long the inspection team gathered information, materials and pictures from 'Cajavec' Company. However, this will not affect any ongoing work in the factory. "Such GOF inspections are essential for the periodical update of SFOR's databases; all non-compliance activities have to be justified by the management in charge. Only SFOR has in fact the ability to control such activities and to monitor this process is ensuring SFOR's internal security requirements," said Austrian Maj. Erwin Kauer JMA HQ SFOR.

Analysing information
In general, SFOR conducts an inspection of a GOF to see if it is operating within the guidelines put forth. These inspections help to keep a safe and secure environment as depicted in the GFAP. That document provides political guidance for all the actions in the country. "It provides SFOR with an opportunity to observe a weapons site inspection in an attempt to improve operating procedures," said U.S. Lt. Col. Frank Moulter, JMA HQ SFOR. Of course the results of the inspections will not be immediately known, as they need a careful analysis of the gathered information.

Related link:

Nations of SFOR: Austria, Australia, Canada, UK, US

SFOR at Work

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Photos: Sgt. Diego Ropero Pastor

Capt. Sunders, Lt. Col. Moulter and Sgt. Sanders (from l. to r.) fix the next site that must be inspected.


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Members of the inspection team in action.


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Maj. Kauer inspects part of the factory.


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The 'Cajavec' management was co-operative.


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Sgt. Sanders checks a storeroom.


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A general view of one part of 'Cajavec'.


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Maj. Kauer examines a special product in the greatest detail.


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A member of the inspection team checks a note-book.


A previous inspection: the ORAO case
On Oct. 11 at 3:00 p.m. an unannounced inspection of the ORAO factory complexes in Bijeljina, Republika Srpska (RS) was conducted by SFOR troops. The inspection was carried out as part of the Instruction To Parties (ITP) that requires SFOR to monitor weapons, weapon components, their movement, storage, manufacture and repair. The ORAO factory was designated a Government Ordnance Facility in September 2002. These types of facilities are routinely inspected by SFOR according to its mandate.
A thorough analysis of the information discovered revealed that certain 'irregularities' allegedly perpetrated by the factory managers. In particular the investigation identified evidence that ORAO had sold military equipment to a country in contravention of a United Nations' embargo.
The International Community ordered the RS government to set up an inquiry and to publish a report stating who had been involved. This document has now been received by the Office of High Representative (OHR), the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and SFOR and is presently under examination by experts.