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Posted on Nov 15, 10:17AM | IBNS
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Wednesday extended for another year the mandate of the European peacekeepers tasked with ensuring the continued compliance by all sides with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The European Union assumed peacekeeping responsibilities in 2004 when it took over from a stabilization force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which continues to have a presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The resolution, adopted unanimously by the 15-member Council, authorizes the force - known as EUFOR ALTHEA - to continue its "peace stabilization role" for another 12 months, beginning today.
The reconfiguration of EUFOR ALTHEA was completed in September, resulting in a reduced number of forces based in the country and focusing on capacity-building and training while also retaining the capability to contribute to the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities' deterrence capacity if the situation so requires.
Tuesday, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, told the Council that the country's political leaders are failing to produce what they should be 17 years after the signing of the Dayton accords, and that secessionist rhetoric is on the rise.
"They must stop their divisive behaviour and finally start leading the way to the country's full reintegration in the interests of all its citizens," he said.
In particular, he noted that the "anti-State, secessionist rhetoric" emanating from the current leadership of Republika Srpska - one of two semi-autonomous entities that make up the country - has intensified and worsened considerably during the past six months.
In its resolution, the Council also called on the parties to "comply strictly with their obligations" under the peace agreement, while reiterating that the primary responsibility for its further successful implementation lies with the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina themselves.
"The continued willingness of the international community and major donors to assume the political, military and economic burden of implementation and reconstruction efforts will be determined by the compliance and active participation by all the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing the peace agreement," it added.