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 station?

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 inhabitants.
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 map).
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) or 'Harvest'.
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".

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: France
SFOR at Work

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Photos: Lt. Antonio Maccari

Good mood in Accord FM studio. (From l. to r.): 1st Lt. Gregoire de Montmorillon (Broadcasting officer), Lidija (radio speaker), Nermina (radio speaker), Biljana (radio speaker), Soline Vaillant (French cultural centre) and Master Sgt. Marc Alliot (Broadcasting NCO).

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Nermina interviewing the singer of a new rock band from Trebinje in Accord FM studio.

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The area of reception of Radio Accord within MNB-SE.

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And now, switch your radio on 106.2 Mhz to form your own opinion about Accord FM. All over the country, other SFOR radios are doing a similar job: radio MIR in Sarajevo on 106.2, radio MIR (MNB-N) on 106.2 and radio OKSIGEN (MNB-NW) on 104.9 FM.