The role of EUFOR in BiH

06/09/2017

Lieutenant Colonel Reinhold Langenecker, Deputy Head of EUFOR Coordination Centre of Liaison and Observation Teams (LOTs) has held a lecture today to the cadets attending the basic police training course about the role of EUFOR teams in BiH and a range of activities they undertake to preserve safe and stable environment.

            Lieutenant Colonel Reinhold Langenecker gave us a background of the presence of peace forces in BiH, starting from IFOR to EUFOR, from the period when 60 000 soldiers were engaged in BiH, to the present day, when, following the stabilization of the security situation in BiH, 600 soldiers from 19 nations have been deployed in BiH, operating within 17 LOTs, with the headquarters in the 'Butmir' base near Sarajevo.

The UN Security Council reviews the EUFOR mandate every year, while the European Union council makes regular assessments of EUFOR presence on the field. The number of EUFOR soldiers in BiH can be increased at a short notice, if necessary, by inviting the troops from other regional countries.

            The EUFOR mandate is to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in preserving its security. The LOT operations on the field include regular contacts with local authorities, law enforcement agencies, security agencies, non-government agencies, and local population. In that way EFOR monitors the situation in BiH, by analysing information and sending it to the headquarters in Sarajevo, and if necessary to higher levels too. A very important task of liaison and observation teams in BiH is education and alerting people of mine risks. In 2016, 50 trainers visited schools in which 21.000 students were educated of mine risks.

            Lieutenant Colonel Langenecker reminded of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between EUFOR and security agencies and law enforcement agencies in BiH, which enables a better communication and timely and updated information on the situation in the field, which helps EUFOR and national authorities in preserving the safe and stable environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina.