Bosnia and Herzegovina


Prepared by the Peace and Security Section
United Nations Department of Public Information
Last update 24 March 1999
Not an official document of the United Nations


Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 December 1995 to present

On 21 December 1995, by adopting resolution 1035(1995) the United Nations Security Council established for operations within the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina the United Nations International Police Task Force IPTF and a United Nations Civilian Office . The Police Task Force and the UN Civilian Office were initially authorized for the period of one year following transfer of authority from the United Nations Protection Force UNPROFOR , as outlined in the Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina [known as the Peace Agreement (S/1995/999)]. The Peace Agreement was signed on 14 December 1995 by the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and included United Nations proposals contained in the Secretary-General's 13 December 1995 report S/1995/1031 .

Together, the United Nations Police Task Force IPTF and the UN Civilian Office operations became known as the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNMIBH.

UNMIBH cooperated closely with the NATO-led Multinational Implementation Force IFOR, authorized by the Security Council to help ensure compliance with the provisions of the Peace Agreement, and continued such cooperation with the successor to IFOR - the Multinational Stabilization Force SFOR. Likewise, UNMIBH worked together on a continuous basis with the High Representative for the implementation of the Peace Agreement in advancing the United Nations goals of peace-building, policing and monitoring, humanitarian relief, demining and economic reconstruction. The appointment in December 1995 of Mr. Carl Bildt of Sweden as High Representative was designated by the London Peace Implementation Conference and approved by the Security Council [see below] .



On 13 December 1995, the Secretary-General submitted report S/1995/1031 to the Security Council, containing the functions assigned to UNMIBH under the Peace Agreement:

  • Transition from UNPROFOR to the Implementation Force (IFOR) provided for in annex 1-A to the Peace Agreement;

  • Coordination of the United Nations contribution to implementation of the Peace Agreement;

  • Humanitarian relief and refugees;

  • Demining;

  • Civilian police; [see IPTF Functions below];

  • Human rights;

  • Elections;

  • Rehabilitation of infrastructure and economic reconstruction.


Functions specifically entrusted to the International Police Task Force include:

  • monitoring, observing and inspecting law enforcement activities and facilities, including associated judicial organizations, structures and proceedings;

  • advising law enforcement personnel and forces;

  • training law enforcement personnel;

  • facilitating, within the IPTF mission of assistance, the parties' law enforcement activities;

  • assessing threats to public order and advising on the capability of law enforcement agencies to deal with such threats;

  • advising Government authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the organization of effective civilian law enforcement agencies; and

  • assisting, by accompanying the parties' law enforcement personnel as they carry out their responsibilties, as the Task Force deems appropriate.

  • In addition, the Task Force is to consider requests from the parties or law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina for assistance, with priority being given to ensuring the existence of conditions for free and fair elections.


Report S/1995/1031 also specified then existing United Nations activities, which were subject to discontinuation or transfer to other agencies during implementation of the Peace Agreement; namely:

  • The International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia (ICFY) - established under the co-chairmanship of the Secretary-General and the President-in-Office of the then European Community (EC) - [London, August 1992];

  • The functions of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Sarajevo, who was appointed pursuant to Security Council resolution 900(1994);

  • Monitoring of the no-fly zone and operation of Sarajevo airport;

  • The functions of the United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPF- HQ), located in Zagreb.


In report S/1995/1031 of 13 December 1995, the Secretary-General's recommended that the International Police Task Force IPTF be set up with main headquarters in Sarajevo, and headed by a Police Commissioner with reporting obligations to the United Nations Coordinator. The United Nations Coordinator, acting under the Secretary-General's authority, exercised authority over the IPTF Commissioner and coordinated other United Nations activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina relating to humanitarian relief and refugees, demining, human rights, elections and rehabilitation of infrastructure and economic reconstruction. Overall coordination and supporting initiatives to aid the local parties' own efforts towards peace-building, multi-ethnic reconciliation and economic reconstruction, as well as coordinating and guiding activities of organizations and agencies involved in the civilian aspects of the peace settlement for Bosnia and Herzegevona, rested with the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, designated by the December 1995 London Conference, and approved by the Security Council (S/1995/1029) in this capacity.

In addition to IPTF main headquarters, five regional headquarters were situated in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Gornji-Vakuf, Mostar and Tuzla; further sub-dividing into 17 central police districts and 109 police stations. Central IPTF headquarters and regional headquarters were to be colocated with IFOR headquarters. Such structure permitted the monitoring, observing and inspecting of law enforcement activities and facilities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Based on a ratio of one IPTF monitor to 30 local police officers, and taking into account the need to also monitor parts of the judicial and prison systems, the recommended civilian police staff, including supervisory personnel at all locations, required a total of 1,721 IPTF police monitors. While the IPTF monitors had authority to engage in local mediation of conflicts arising from local police actions, they were not mandated with exercising law enforcement functions. Thus, effectiveness of the international police presence depended to an important extent on the parties' willingness to cooperate with IPTF.

Approximately 45 United Nations civil affairs and public information officers were assigned to IPTF Main Headquarters/ Sarajevo, and also to the regional and district headquarters. The civilian United Nations personnel were charged with keeping contact with political representatives of the parties; reporting to the United Nations Coordinator and providing advice on political, human rights and other matters to IPTF police monitors in their respective deployment areas.


Ms. Elisabeth Rehn (Finland)
Colonel Detlef Buwitt (Germany)
As of 8 March 1999: Mission total [uniformed personnel]: 1,995 IPTF civilian police monitors. (S/1999/284)
As of 8 March 1999:
Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States (S/1999/284)
As of 31 December 1998: UNMIBH suffered a total of six fatalities.
[figures provided by the fatality database of the United Nations
Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) ]

On 19 January 1999 (A/53/800), the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly the budget for the maintenance of UNMIBH from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, for the maintenance of UNMIBH, including UNMOP and the UN Liaison Offices at Belgrade and Zagreb, amounting to $168.2 million gross ($158.1 million net). These requirements represented a 5.7 per cent decrease ($10.2 million gross) in relation to the apportionment for UNMIBH for the period 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999.

On 26 June 1998, the General Assembly had appropriated $189.5 million to maintain the Mission from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 (Press Release GA/9425) . Covering preceding budget cycles, expenditures for UNMIBH, UNMOP and the Belgrade and Zagreb Liaison Offices totalled $118.2 million gross ($113.7 million net) for the period 1 July 1996 through 30 June 1997 (A/52/708&Corr.1.). Since inception in December 1995 through June 1999, UNMIBH was to incur $502,1 million in gross approved expenditures ($480 million net), with an unencumbered balance amounting to $21.1 million gross ($19.5 million net). (A/53/800)


The Security Council adopted on 12 December 1996 resolution 1088(1996) , whereby the Council welcomed the conclusions of the London Peace Implementation Conference [the London Conference, 4-5 December 1996] (S/1996/1012), which, following the conclusions of the Paris Conference, approved an Action Plan for the first twelve-month period of the civilian consolidation plan of the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Taking note of assessments of Mr. Carl Bildt (Sweden), the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council determined, however, that the situation in the region continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security.

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council paid in resolution 1088(1996) tribute to those Member States who participated in IFOR established in accordance with its resolution 1031(1995) and; welcoming their willingness to assist the parties to the Peace Agreement by continuing to deploy a multinational implementation force; authorized the Member States to establish for a planned period of 18 months a multinational stabilization force (SFOR) as the legal successor to IFOR under unified command and control in order to fulfil remaining tasks specified in the Peace Agreement. The Security Council authorized afore-said States to use such enforcement action by SFOR as necessary to ensure implementation of its tasks and the protection of SFOR. It authorized Member States to take all necessary measures, at the request of SFOR, either in defence of SFOR or to assist the force in carrying out its mission, and recognizes the right of the force to take all necessary measures to defend itself from attack or threat of attack.
By the same resolution text, the Council extended the mandate of UNMIBH -including IPTF - for an additional period terminating on 21 December 1997, and decided that the Police Task Force should take up tasks referred to in the London Conference and agreed to by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council called closest possible coordination between the OSCE High Representative, SFOR, UNMIBH and the relevant civilian organizations and agencies so as to ensure the successful implementation of the Peace Agreement and of the priority objectives of the civilian consolidation plan, as well as the security of IPTF personnel.

By its resolutions 1103(1997) and 1107(1997), the Security Council decided to increase the authorized strength of IPTF from 1,721 to 2,027 in order to carry out additional tasks related to the implementation of the Brcko arbitration award and those tasks related to human rights monitoring assigned by the Peace Implementation Council's London Conference.
Specifically, the Security Council - cognizant of the decision (S/1997/126) taken on 14 February 1997 by the Brcko Arbitration Tribunal on the disputed portion of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line in the Brcko area, and noting the holding of the Brcko Implementation Conference in Vienna on 7 March 1997 - decided on 31 March 1997 in resolution 1103(1997) to authorize an increase in the strength of UNMIBH by 186 police and 11 civilian personnel. The Brcko Arbitration Award of February 1997 required "the international community to establish an interim supervisory regime in the Brcko area designed...to provide proper police protection for all citizens" of this multi-ethnically populated area.
The Security Council took the matter up again on 16 May 1997, as it adopted resolution 1107(1997) . Based on the Secretary-General's report of 14 March 1997 (S/1997/224 and Add.1) and his letter of 5 May 1997 to the President of the Security Council (S/1997/351), the Council authorized through resolution 1107 an increase in the strength of UNMIBH by 120 police personnel in view of the additional responsibilities for UN-IPTF to carry out amplified policing functions in the Brcko area as recommended by the Secretary-General pursuant to the Arbitration Tribunal's 14 February decision [such IPTF involvement was mandated in Annex 11 of the Peace Agreement and by Council resolution 1088(1996) of 12 December 1996]. The Council further urged Member States to provide qualified police monitors and other forms of assistance and support to the UN-IPTF and in support of the Peace Agreement

On 21 December 1997, by resolution 1144 (1997), the Security Council extended UNMIBH until 21 June 1998, with the provision that NATO-led multinational stabilization force (SFOR) security arrangements change significantly before the Mission could be further extended. Unanimously adopting resolution 1168(1998) on 21 May 1998, the Council authorized the deployment of an additional 30 IPTF monitors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing their number to a total of 2,057 - to carry out new intensive training programmes for the local police in a number of specialized fields. The Council also agreed to consider expeditiously a UNMIBH-led court monitoring programme as part of an overall programme of legal reform. Most recently, the Security Council extended the mandate of UNMIBH until 21 June 1999 by resolution 1174(1998), which was adopted on 15 June 1998. The resolution also authorized Member States, acting through or in cooperation with NATO, to continue for a further 12 months the multinational Stabilization Force (SFOR).

23 March 1999: Security Council reaffirms support for UNMIBH, appeals to
Federation and Republika Srpska to ensure further progress be self-sustaining

Members of the Security Council on 23 March 1999 reaffirmed - in a Statement to the press, read by the Council's President Ambassador Huasun Qin of China - their support for the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). After the Council had discussed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's latest report on the Mission. Ambassador Qin said Council members welcomed progress in police restructuring and reform as well as the establishment of the rule of law in both entities -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. They appealed to both entities to commit to further progress in order to make it self-sustaining. Aware of recent challenges to the political stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Council members reminded the leaders of both entities of their obligation to fulfill the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement and appealed for effort to ensure the functioning of common institutions in the country.

16 March 1999: Secretary-General appeals to Security Council Members
to extend full support to UNMIBH efforts implementing its core mandate of creating
professional, multi-ethnic police services in the Federation and the Republika Srpska

Reporting on 16 March 1999 to the Security Council on UNMIBH activivities (S/1999/284) since his last 16 December 1998 report (S/1998/1174), the Secretary-General emphasized that the establishment of the rule of law was the prerequisite for lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNMIBH continued to play a central role in efforts to that end under its mandate in police monitoring, restructuring and reform, assessment of the judicial system and strengthening of the legal system's respect for human rights. UNMIBH has pursued a strategy of engaging senior officials in the Republika Srpska and the Federation, through co-location of IPTF advisers and launching a series of inter-entity meetings between officials from the Ministries of the Interior. The successful series of cross-inter-entity boundary line meetings of senior and regional police officials pointed to genuine efforts by the police to cooperate in tackling cross-entity crime. Despite all efforts, it was not clear whether these positive stepsl marked the beginning of self-sustaining progress in police restructuring and reform and the establishment of the rule of law. Monitoring, therefore, remained central to the work of IPTF. Successful minority recruitment and returns would make monitoring and patrols even more significant in the future as IPTF was then tol increase the monitoring of mixed patrols and of policing in communities where minorities have begun to return.

The recent Brcko arbitration award presented another major challenge for UNMIBH, as it established a single multi-ethnic police force in an area where three police forces operate at present. The arbitrator noted that the constant and diligent supervision of IPTF in the Republika Srpska-controlled part of Brcko had resulted in the establishment of the only multi-ethnic police force in the Republika Srpska today and that this force could be taken as a model for other communities in the Republika Srpska and the Federation.

The Secretary-General observed that the establishment of self-sustaining political institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to present a significant challenge. The elections held in mid-September 1998 have not yet led to the formation of a government in the Republika Srpska and the tension resulting from the political crisis in this entity has recently been heightened with the dismissal of the President and resignation of the Prime Minister. Prospects remained bleak for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes on any meaningful scale. Strong and consistent support of SFOR remained essential in providing adequate security arrangements for the successful implementation of the UNMIBH mandate. At the end of the tour of duty of Richard Monk (United Kingdom) as Commissioner of IPTF, the Secretary-General record appreciation for his leadership and constructive contribution that he provided to the Mission over the last year. Commissioner Monk was, in March 1999 succeded by Colonel Detlev Buwitt of Germany.


In March 1995, the Security Council had set up successor missions for UNPROFOR in the territories of the former Yugoslavia. UNPROFOR was established by the Security Council by resolution 743(1992) of 21 February 1992 to create conditions of peace and security required for the negotiation of an overall settlement of the Yugoslav crisis. The mandate of the Force was extended by subsequent Council resolutions and, on 31 March 1995, by its resolution 981(1995), 982(1995) and 983(1995), the Council established the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia UNCRO , extended the mandate of UNPROFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and decided that UNPROFOR in FYROM would be known as UNPREDEP . The administrative and logistic responsibilities of all three operations were coordinated at the United Nations Peace Force Headquarters UNPF in Zagreb, Croatia.

On 21 December 1995, by adopting resolution 1035(1995) the United Nations Security Council established for operations within the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina the United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF) and a United Nations Civilian Office. The Police Task Force and the UN Civilian Office were by that Council instrument initially authorized for the period of one year following transfer of authority from the United Nations Protection Force UNPROFOR to the Multinational Implementation Force (IFOR) in order to carry out provisions outlined in the Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina [collectively known as the "Peace Agreement" (S/1995/999) - signed on 14 December 1995 by the then leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)

Replacing UNPROFOR in the territory of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Council authorized the Unied Nations Preventive Deployment Force - UNPREDEP - which monitored and reported developments in the border areas which undermined confidence and stability in FYROM and threatened its territory. Effective 1 February 1996, following the termination of the mandates of UNCRO and UNPROFOR , UNPREDEP became an independent mission, reporting directly to United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Mission's mandate came to an end on 28 February 1999.

During the latter part of 1995, the Council terminated the mandates of UNCRO and UNPROFOR and established two new operations; namely the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina UNMIBH ; and the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium: UNTAES . Additionally, the Council extended the mandate of UNPREDEP. In Eastern Croatia, UNTAES came to an end on 15 January 1998 and was succeeded, from 16 January 1998 on, by the United Nations Civilian Police Support Group . The Police Support Group continued monitoring the performance of the Croatian police in the Danube region, particularly with respect to the return of displaced persons, for a single nine-month period ending on 15 October 1998. On 16 October 1998, UNPSG was taken over by a monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; OSCE.

In January 1996, the Security Council, through resolution 1038(1996), authorized United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, situated at the border between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka UNMOP became an independent mission on 1 February 1996 under the command and direction of a Chief Military Observer, reporting directly to United Nations Headquarters in New York.


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