UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Bosnia and Herzegovina



UNMIBH


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


UNMIBH RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
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.

16 March 1999: Secretary-General's Special Representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina
condemns Sarajevo car bombing, pledges UNMIBH follow-up

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elisabeth Rehn, expressed her shock and horror at the explosion, which occurred near the United States Embassy, and pledged the full support of the UNMIBH to the investigation into the case. The explosion seriously injured the Bosnian Federation Deputy Minister of the Interior, Jozo Leutar, who had been instrumental in the establishment of the ministry. Two other occupants in the car sustained lesser injuries.




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