Thursday, December 4, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 4,2008) - Italy's Major General Stefano Castagnotto took today command of the European Union's peacekeeping force in Bosnia (EUFOR) .

"I am reaffirming today the dedication of EUFOR to do our best in assisting the citizens of Bosnia in their journey toward a brighter future," Castagnotto said during a handover ceremony in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

He replaced Ignacio Martin Villalain of Spain.

EUFOR took over from NATO-led peacekeepers in 2004 and carries out military tasks under the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

The EU launched its Althea peacekeeping mission in Bosnia with a military force of 7,000 in 2004 to oversee the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords.

It currently has 2,125 troops from 26 countries, of which 21 are members of the European bloc. Spain provides the largest contingent with 376 soldiers, followed by Italy which has 248. Turkey has 242 soldiers while Poland has contributed 204.

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