Saturday, March 8, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 8,2008) – The Commander of the Bosnian Armed Forces General Sifet Podzic and the Commander of the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR),General Ignacio Villalaín attended a ceremony at Rajlovac Barracks of handing over the responsibility of Weapon Storage Sites from EUFOR to the Bosnian Army.The Bosnian Minister of Defence, Selmo Cikotic also attended the ceremony.A Letter of Understanding was signed by both the EUFOR Commander and the Commander of the Bosnian Army.

General Villalain stated that this event marks another step forward in successful implementation of the Bosnian defence reform.

He added that EUFOR Verification Unit and Internal Team for Bosnian Armed Forces’ Inspection Team conducted a program of joint inspections of weapons storages from September 2007.

General Villalain stated that the joint inspections conducted all the activities professionally and that all the results have been stored to a database which is available for public.

He emphasized that the Bosnian Army gained the International Community’s respect and added that the EUFOR is now able to transfer a significant part of jurisdiction onto them.

General Podzic said that he hopes that the Bosnian Army will soon take over jurisdiction over other sectors in order to create conditions to “say goodbye to our EUFOR friends and ask them to visit Bosnia as tourists”.

The Bosnian Deputy Defence Minister Igor Crnadak stated that the event is of an enormous significance for Bosnia, for it is a proof that the defence reform has been implemented successfully.

This week, EUFOR and the Bosnian Armed Forces were conducting joint military training at Comanche military base, near the eastern bosnian city of Tuzla.The Hungarian Company and a Platoon of the Bosnian Army soldiers have been learning to work together on operations that include Crowd Riot Control techniques and the rapid extraction of personnel from buildings under threat.

This training is seen to be very significant for both the EUFOR and the Bosnian Army. Earlier in January the Bosnian Armed Forces stated that 2008 would be a year of training and the results of this statement are now being seen.

This exercise tested the capability of both EUFOR and the Bosnian Army.The personnel involved were mainly infantry based and the training enhanced their operational capabilities,the EUFOR stated.

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