UN extends mandate of European force in Bosnia

The Security Council on Thursday extended for another year the European Union stabilization force entrusted with ensuring the continued compliance of all sides with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The force, known as EUFOR, assumed peacekeeping responsibilities in 2004 from a stabilization force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Last week, Valentin Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, told the Council that the current situation in the country is marked by a political stalemate and stagnation on key reforms, and requires the continued attention of the international community.

He added that, 15 years after the signing of the Dayton peace agreement, there is still “insufficient” dialogue and compromise.

“While there was substantial progress in the first 11 years after the war, in the last four years, there has been stagnation and time has been largely wasted. The fundamentals of the country and its institutions, including the constitutional framework, have been challenged on a regular basis,” he told the 15-member body.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council “reminds the parties once again that, in accordance with the Peace Agreement, they have committed themselves to cooperate fully with all entities involved in the implementation of this peace settlement…”

The 15-member body also reiterated that the primary responsibility for the further successful implementation of the Peace Agreement “lies with the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina themselves.”

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 added.

In addition, the Council demanded that the parties respect the security and freedom of movement of EUFOR, the NATO presence, and other international personnel.

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