The ORAO case
A short reminder of the events
First published in
SFOR Informer#159, March 6, 2003
On Oct. 11, 2002 SFOR troops completed an unannounced
inspection of the ORAO factory complexes in Bijeljina, a town
located in Northeastern part of Republika Srpska.
Bijeljina - The inspection was conducted as part of the General
Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), as implemented by the
Instruction to Parties (ITP). This document requires SFOR
to monitor weapons, weapon components, their movement, storage,
manufacture and repair.
ORAO became a Government Ordnance Factory (GOF) in 2002, thereby
falling under the SFOR Mandate that requires periodic inspections
to be conducted. ORAO manufactures, puts together and repairs,
among others, components aimed for aeronautical industries.
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. There was no
forcible entry and the ORAO management was co-operative throughout.
Preliminary inspection results uncovered the existence of
a contract linking the ORAO Factory to the unreported export
of weapons systems components, which violate the GFAP as implemented
in the ITP. A thorough analysis revealed that the factory
managers allegedly perpetrated some 'irregularities'. In particular,
the investigation identified evidence that ORAO had sold military
equipment to a country in contravention of a United Nations'
The International Community then ordered the RS government
to set up an inquiry and to publish a report stating who had
been involved. This document, which was delivered to SFOR
on Dec. 31, 2002, has now been analysed by SFOR experts.
Since this report was not fully satisfactory and included
some deficiencies, COMSFOR ordered Republika Srpska's authorities
to provide further details on the contentious points. This
report is to be submitted no later than March 17, 2003. The
content of that report will be again assessed by SFOR, acting
on behalf of the whole International Community.
Related links: Press
Release (Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003)
SFOR at Work