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The IPTF in BiH

By 2Lt Alexis Clement
First published in
SFOR Informer #90, June 21, 2000

Sarajevo - The UNMBIH (United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Hercegovina) was established on December 21, 1995 by the 1035 resolution of the United Nation Security Council. Planned to last one year, its mandate has been renewed since that moment several times.

The IPTF or International Police Force is one of the major organisations within the UNMBIH. Its authorised strength is 2,057 men. Its mission is to monitor and to advise the local police, to push them to focus on individual security rather than on national security. The IPTF helps them in the aim of restructuring their institutions in order to get a democratic, professional and multi-ethnic police force, doing an efficient and transparent job - representative of the society that it serves. This endstate serves also to encourage and help to the return of refugees and displaced people.

The IPTF keeps informed of the way the local police staffs act and if necessary can instigate action to have a policeman dismissed if he or she does not act according to regulations and procedures. It can also choose police officers from categories and entities that are under-represented. The IPTF helped in the opening of the two Police Academies in Banja Luka and Sarajevo. It also continues to help in the the recruitment of students and local instructors, to control the training that they receive. Some courses are still given by United Nation instructors, notably in the matters of organised crime, drugs, crowds management and major accidents.

The IPTF also advises the local police by its presence in internal affairs ministries, in public security centres and in polices stations. It helps to solve some special investigations in security matters. It also checks jails and weapons. The country has been divided in seven areas of responsibility and each of them contains a HQ and several international police stations on both sides of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line. The IPTF aims to encourage inter-entity justice and the redeployment of policemen to where they were before the war. It is currently involved in the re-creating of the the Border Security Service. "The objective of the IPTF is to bring the local police to European policing standards," summarise French Brigadier General Vincent Coeurderoy, current commander of the IPTF.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Our Partners: IPTF