EU troops hand over military camp to Bosnian army

4th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

4th December 2007, Sarajevo/Berlin (dpa) - The European Union Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina officially handed over the Rajlovac military camp near Sarajevo to Bosnia-Herzegovina's army Tuesday, after the international troops had used it for more than 12 years. The camp, which covers 7.2 square kilometres in the north-west suburbs of the Bosnia's capital Sarajevo, was controlled by German troops serving with NATO and later the EU peacekeeping troops deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the country's 1

4th December 2007

Sarajevo/Berlin (dpa) - The European Union Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina officially handed over the Rajlovac military camp near Sarajevo to Bosnia-Herzegovina's army Tuesday, after the international troops had used it for more than 12 years.

The camp, which covers 7.2 square kilometres in the north-west suburbs of the Bosnia's capital Sarajevo, was controlled by German troops serving with NATO and later the EU peacekeeping troops deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the country's 1992-1995 war.

The Rajlovac military camp was built in 1904 under Austro- Hungarian rule in Bosnia-Herzegovina and used for the accommodation of the imperial army's cavalry.

After the Second World War the camp came under the control of the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), serving as its air force academy.

During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the camp was on the separation line and was badly damaged.

The international troops reconstructed it for their own use during the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

The handover of camp Rajlovac coincided with the handover of command of EUFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina from German Rear Admiral Hans-Jochen Witthauer to Spanish General Ignacio Martin Villalain.

The announcement from Berlin came after Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung's plane was diverted to neighbouring Croatia due to poor visibility in Sarajevo, causing a delay in the ceremony for Witthauer to hand over the command.

Jung said earlier Tuesday that a withdrawal of EUFOR from Bosnia-Herzegovina was dependant on developments in neighbouring Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo.

EUFOR has some 2,500 soldiers. Germany has one of the largest contingents with 340 troops.

In the 12 years that Germany has been involved in peacekeeping in Bosnia-Herzegovina, some 76,000 German soldiers have served there.

The German Defence Ministry estimates the cost of Germany's involvement at 1.7 billion euros (2.5 billion dollars).

DPA

Subject: German news, EU, Bosnia

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