Spain wants to withdraw Bosnian troops
At an EU meeting, Defence Minister Chacon will push for civilian peacekeepers to replace Spanish military in Bosnia.
1 October 2008
MADRID – Spain’s longest military UN peacekeeping mission may soon end.
Defence Minister Carme Chacón told the Senate Defence Committee on Tuesday that the Spanish armed forces are nearly completed with their duties in Bosnia-Herzegovina and she will propose they be replaced with a civilian peacekeeping force when she meets later in October with European defence officials in Deauville, France.
"We are close to the end of the military operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and close to the beginning of a civil one", Chacón said, adding that passing on military responsibilities to Bosnian forces is nearly complete and only "some reform policies need to be worked out".
Spain sent about 1,000 troops in October 1992. EUFOR (European Force) took over the mission from the UN in 2004. Spain currently has 258 troops in Bosnia, serving with forces from Italy, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, France and Austria.
Over 36,600 Spanish troops served in Bosnia since 1992 at a cost of EUR 1.66 billion. Chacón said that the Bosnian mission was successful.
[El Pais / Expatica]