When SFOR chats with the local population
Lt. Grégoire de Montmorillon
First published in
SFOR Informer#158, February 20, 2003
Living in Mostar Ortijes for a couple of months or just
driving on Pacman Route, you may have listened to good music
on 106.2 FM. Accord FM is a SFOR radio station aimed at the
local population. But what do you really know about this radio
Mostar - First of all, Accord FM is a radio station aimed
at local population. It began in Mostar at the end of 1997
to broadcast information and music programs to help Mostar's
Principle of neutrality
At this time, there were few radios in this area. SFOR needed
to communicate with the population to explain its mission
in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and to support the normalisation
process. "The first principle is the neutrality of Accord
FM in local politic affairs, the second is our multi-ethnicity.
We employ speakers belonging to both Entities. Our aim is
to rally together all our listeners with subjects of common
interest. The great number of phone calls testifies to the
success of such an aim," Master Sgt. Marc Alliot said.
He is the broadcasting NCO. Each year, Accord FM changes its
programme in a professional way and increases its coverage
area. Year in and year out, the radio maintains these principles.
Radio Accord FM is working in close co-ordination with other
branches of Multinational Brigade Southeast (MNB-SE), such
as G9/CIMIC, to promote and support Brigade activities. Using
a network of transmitting sites in MNB-SE area, Accord FM
covers a large area and can be heard by about 250 to 300,000
local people 24 hours a day in cities like Mostar, Citluk,
Medjugorje, Stolac, Trebinje, Ljubinje, Bileca and Gacko (see
Young people between 15 and 30
The main audience of Accord FM is young people between 15
and 30 years old. All the programmes are made for them: music
(32% local, 68% international), games (different each day
of the week), dedication program, culture and informative
emissions every day. Lidija, radio host, is involved in the
programme: "Our job is very interesting because we work
especially for and with young people. It is also demanding
because we must be well informed and react immediately to
all situations. But we have gratification for this job in
a good and friendly atmosphere: listeners can hear that!"
Accord FM is also broadcasting consciousness-raising spots
in the framework of campaigns such as 'Percival' (BiH as a
welfare country), 'Mordred' (anti- drugs and anti- corruption)
Lidija Rotim, Nermina Peco and Biljana Jakic, the three female
radio personalities, were recruited as translators some years
ago. They are now professional radio speakers and journalists.
For Nermina, the most important skill for a radio speaker
is the good mood: "One must always be in a good mood,
able to transmit positive feelings and ready to have conversation
with listeners. My greatest challenge is having an interview
with local celebrities in cultural, music and art fields."
A link between the ethnic groups
Radio Accord is a tool to facilitate the restoration of a
normal life in the country. The participation of all communities
in live programs is a proof of the efficiency of such a radio
in this process. Biljana agreed: "People belonging to
all communities are calling us. This is not the same for other
local radios. Accord FM is a link between the ethnic groups.
Music and entertainment are universal languages and do not
know borders. I wish a long life to our radio because it is
a factor of cohesion between our cultures."
Sgt 1st Class Philippe Allard went back to France mid-January
after six months within Accord FM: "I keep the best memory
of my tour as broadcasting NCO in Accord FM. Such a mission
is an uncommon experience and above all, I would like to thank
our fans for their kindness".
Nations of SFOR: France
SFOR at Work