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Mandate Of European Peacekeepers In Bosnia

Security Council Extends Mandate Of European Peacekeepers In Bosnia

New York, Nov 18 2009 11:10AM The United Nations Security Council today extended for another year the European Union stabilization force (EUFOR) entrusted with ensuring continued compliance by all sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the ethnic war there.

In a unanimous resolution adopted a day after a UN human rights expert reported that political disputes were still impeding the return of over 117,000 people displaced by the fighting, the 15-member body stressed that “a comprehensive and coordinated return of refugees and displaced persons throughout the region continues to be crucial to lasting peace.”

EUFOR assumed peacekeeping responsibilities in 2004 from a stabilization force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the resolution welcomed the EU’s increased engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as NATO’s continued engagement.

“The primary responsibility for the further successful implementation of the Peace Agreement lies with the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina themselves,” the Council said, stressing that the continued willingness of the international community and major donors to help politically, militarily and economically in reconstruction efforts depended on the parties’ compliance.

It authorized Member States to take all measures to defend the EUFOR and NATO presence and to assist both organizations in carrying out their missions. It also recognized the right of both EUFOR and the NATO presence to defend themselves from attack or threat of attack.

The Council also underlined the need for the parties’ full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is trying the alleged perpetrators of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s on charges of war crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity.

ENDS

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