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Bosnia and Herzegovina


Following the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the international community deployed NATO international forces to the area to take part in Operation Joint Forge. On 2 December 2004, when NATO decided to conclude the SFOR mission, the tasks under the Dayton Agreement were distributed. A part of the tasks was taken over by Operation EUFOR Althea, and a part of the responsibilities by NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo.

In BiH, SAF members work within both missions:

Joint Enterprise under the auspices of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, which advises the BiH government bodies on defence sector reform to prepare BiH for the Euro-Atlantic integration, and coordinates activities in implementing the adopted goals within the Partnership for Peace, and 

EUFOR Althea, which supports the EU's comprehensive approach to BiH by supporting the BiH authorities in ensuring a secure and stable environment and providing training and exercise support to the BiH Armed Forces.

The SAF has upgraded the Liaison and Observation Team (LOT) in the EUFOR Althea mission, thus strengthening its contribution to the international community's peace and stabilisation efforts in BiH. The team became operational on 15 March and includes eight members. They are quartered in a house in the middle of Banjaluka, which allows them to better detect and react to changes in the area of responsibility. The team members provide local communities with a permanent link to EUFOR, thus contributing to the strengthening of stability and security. There are a total of 17 LOT houses in BiH.

In 2004, the European Union deployed a military force as strong as those of SFOR (7,000 troops) as part of Operation Althea. In accordance with Article 7 of the UN Charter, their mission is to ensure compliance with the Dayton-Paris Agreement and to contribute to the security of BiH. The purpose of the operation is to provide military presence that contributes to a secure environment, prevents the continuation of violence and manages the remaining possible aspects of the comprehensive peace agreement. This enables all European and international actors to carry out their duties.

The EU-led force is carrying out some key support tasks. This includes providing support to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and relevant authorities, including the detention of people accused of war crimes. They also provide a security environment that enables the police to fight organised crime.

The Slovenian Armed Forces is participating in the operation with officers and non-commissioned officers working in the EUFOR Command, members of the National Support Element providing administrative and logistical support to SAF members, and the Liaison and Observation Team.

The main function of NATO HQ Sarajevo is to facilitate the reform of the defence and security sector in BiH. In addition, it supports the ICTY and, in line with the NATO-EU agreement, EUFOR’s Operation Althea (under the Berlin-Plus arrangement). The Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) contributes officers and non-commissioned officers to NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo. Currently, Slovenia ranks third among the twelve nations participating in NATO Headquarters Sarajevo in terms of the size of its contribution.

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