November 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 October 2006
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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to reauthorise the EU Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) before the end of its mandate on 21 November.

The High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, will also brief the Council.

Key Facts
In February 1992 the Council established the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) through resolution 743.  After years of bitter ethnic strife, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Yugoslavia on 14 December 1995 signed the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which together with its annexes had been agreed on 21 November 1995 in the US city of Dayton.

UNPROFOR was replaced by NATO and subsequently EU forces, currently EUFOR. The UN assumed a civilian role deploying the UN International Police Task Force (IPTF) and a UN civilian office, which together were known as the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).

During its eight years, the IPTF inter alia was involved in certifying and decertifying Bosnian police officers.  If decertified, a police officer would be barred from law enforcement duties. A total of 16,762 officers were certified and 598 were decertified.  150 of the latter have taken cases to the Bosnian courts, arguing that the decertification process lacked an impartial and independent examination of their rights as well as a poor review mechanism.  The High Representative believes that this is a matter that requires the Council’s attention, since the Bosnian courts may not have the competence to annul a decision or order new ones to be taken. 

The EU Police Mission (EUPM) took over from UNMIBH on 1 January 2003. 

On 1 October 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina held its first election that was fully administered by the country’s authorities with initial election results showing a move away from nationalist parties.

The EU is preparing to reduce its involvement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In early October, EU defence ministers backed a plan to cut EUFOR progressively to 1,500 troops from about 6,500 currently.

In early June, EU officials agreed that the Office of the High Representative (OHR) could begin preparations to close by 30 June 2007. Early next year, they will review and confirm the closure of OHR and recommendations will be made to the Security Council for endorsement of the closure.

Constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s parliament remains slow. Police reform has also been slow in 2006. The Police Directorate is expected to finalise its report on reforms by the end of the year. Last January, the EUPM was extended for two years. 

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council is whether the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is sufficiently stable in the face of the possible closure of the Office of the High Representative or reductions in EU troops in the near future. 

A related issue is ensuring that a stalled constitutional reform process is reenergised under the new government.

An issue in the minds of many Council members will be medium term goals of the Bosnian Serbs who still seem to be seeking independence from Bosnia. Montenegro’s referendum to break away from Serbia in May has given them new momentum and they will be carefully watching the ongoing Kosovo status talks. 

The fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska has so far failed to deliver war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic to the ICTY is also a key issue for many Council members.  The Council will want to be informed on what the Republika Srpska is doing to cooperate with the tribunal.  There will be even greater impetus to resolve this issue before the EU downsizes its troops.

The appeal by various former police officers against decertification decisions by the IPTF will also be an issue since it has been raised by the High Representative. 

Council and Wider Dynamics
Most Council members expect the EUFOR reauthorisation to be straightforward and are not looking to complicate the matter.  In his briefing, Schwarz-Schilling is expected to raise the need for Council involvement in resolving the problem of decertification of police officers, but most Council members are not inclined to get actively involved even though they acknowledge the need to resolve the issue.

The Council’s most likely option is a 12-month renewal of EUFOR, with a review after six months if the EU decides to close the OHR by mid-2007. Keeping in mind the possible drawdown and phasing out of this Office, one option is to renew EUFOR’s mandate for only six months instead of 12.

Language in the resolution to put pressure on the parties to cooperate with the ICTY is also a possible option.

On the decertification appeals issue, an option is to request the Secretary-General for a report from the Office of Legal Affairs on technical options for resolution on the issue

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1639 (21 November 2005) extended EUFOR’s mandate to 21 November 2006.
  • S/RES/1575 (22 November 2004) established EUFOR.
  • S/RES/1088 (12 December 1996) contained the authorisation of the establishment of a multinational stabilisation force (SFOR).
  • S/RES/1035 (21 December 1995) established the UN International Police Task Force.
  • S/RES/1031 (15 December 1995) was on the implementation of the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina and transfer of authority from UN Protection Force to the multinational implementation force (IFOR).
  • S/RES/743 (21 February 1992) established UNPROFOR.
  • S/RES/713 (25 September 1991) marked the start of the UN’s involvement in the former Yugoslavia.
 Selected Letters
  • S/2006/644 (11 August 2006) was the letter from the Secretary-General transmitting the latest report on the activities of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • S/2006/476 (30 June 2006) was the letter from the Secretary-General to the president of the Council with the latest report on the activities of EUFOR.
  • S/2006/75 (3 February 2006) was the Secretary-General’s letter conveying the 29th report of the High Representative to the president of the Council.
  • S/2006/62 (30 January 2006) was the letter from the Secretary-General conveying the letter he received from the Council of the European Union about the follow-on mission to the EU Police Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • S/2006/61 (30 January 2006) was the letter from the president of the Council about the Council’s reaction to the appointment of Christian Schwarz-Schilling as High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • S/2006/40 (23 January 2006) was the letter from the Secretary-General conveying the letter from the High Representative for Bosnia about the appointment of his successor.
  • S/2006/810 (13 October 2006) was the most recent report from the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • S/2006/809 ( 12 October 2006) was the latest EUFOR report.
  • S/PV.5412 (18 April 2006) was the most recent Council discussion on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • S/1995/999 (and annexes) (21st November 1995) was the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Annexes.

Historical Background

1 January 2006 Follow-on mission to EUPM launched for two years.
22 November 2005 The Council authorises EUFOR for an additional 12 months.
2 December 2004 EUFOR was launched with authorisation for 12 months.
1 January 2003

The EU Police Mission (EUPM) took over from the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).

31 December 2002 UNMIBH was terminated.
21 December 1996 The UN Stabilisation Force (SFOR) succeeded the UN Implementation Force (IFOR).
21 December 1995 The Council established the UN International Police Task Force and the UNMIBH.
20 December 1995 United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) withdrew, and IFOR was deployed.
14 December 1995 Dayton Accords were signed.
11 October 1995 Fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina ends.
July 1995 Srebrenica massacre took place.
25 May 1993 Council established the ICTY.
1991 War broke out in the former Yugoslavia.

Useful Additional Sources
European Commission for Democracy Through Law, Opinion on a Possible Solution to the Issue of Decertification of Police Officers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 64th Plenary Session, Venice, 21-22 October 2005.

Bosnia’s Stalled Police Reform, No Progress, No EU,  International Crisis Group, 6 September 2005.

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