'Relatively Stable Military Environment' Established by Collective Endeavour of UN and IFOR: Implementation of Political and Civilians Undertakings Ahead

UN Chronicle, Summer 1996 | Go to article overview

'Relatively Stable Military Environment' Established by Collective Endeavour of UN and IFOR: Implementation of Political and Civilians Undertakings Ahead


A "relatively stable military environment" for the implementation of extremely complex political and civilian undertakings had been established in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali announced on 21 March.

That had become possible after the military provisions of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina--the Peace Agreement--had been complied with under the "powerful presence" of the multinational Implementation Force (IFOR), he said. However, the military and civilian aspects were interconnected, and "only when the latter goal is achieved can the implementation of the Peace Agreement be considered successful", the Secretary-General reported (S/1996/210).

The new momentum in the four-year-old conflict in the former Yugoslavia had been created by the Bosnian Peace Agreement, negotiated at Dayton, Ohio, and signed in Paris on 14 December 1995, and the 12 November 1995 Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, the Secretary-General said on 6 February (S/1996/83).

It was gratifying that UN expertise and experience had been recognizes and new operations--the UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES); the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), with its International Police Task Force (IPTF); and the UN Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP)--had been given appropriate tasks "as part of a collective international endeavour to bring peace where only war has raged", Mr. Boutros-Ghali stated.

Until that time and for almost four years, he pointed out, the UN peace-keeping missions in the former Yugoslavia had "worked tirelessly in dangerous and adverse conditions, often without sufficient resources and under complex and demanding mandates". Lightly armed peace-keepers and un-armed civilians had been sent into "areas of active warfare, where their courageous efforts helped to save untold human lives and to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population", the Secretary-General stated.

Also, it had become obvious that a "peace-keeping mission cannot achieve its objectives without the unfailing support and commitment of the international community in terms of financial and human resources required for the implementation of its mandate, as well as the full cooperation of the parties to the conflict", he stressed.

Council action, appointments

From 1 January to 8 May, the Security Council met formally or in consultations on 19 occasions to consider the situation in the former Yugoslavia, adopting five resolutions and issuing four presidential statements.

Among other things, it established UNTAES and authorized the deployment of 100 military observers for that new operation; increased by 50 military observers the strength of the UN Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; extended the UN presence in the Prevlaka peninsula; authorized the deployment to UNMIBH of five military liaison officers and two helicopters, with the necessary operating and support personnel; and appointed Justice Louise Arbour of Canada as Prosecutor for the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia effective 1 October 1996.

On 1 February, the Secretary-General appointed Iqbal Riza of Pakistan as his Special Representative and Coordinator of the UN operations in Bosnia and Herzagovina. Peter FitzGerald of Ireland was named Commissioner of the IPTF. The post of Secretary-General's Special Representative for the Former Yugoslavia was thus terminated. Residual political support and liaison functions in Croatia and in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) were entrusted to the new Zagreb and Belgrade Liaison Offices.

On 17 January, Jacques Paul Klein of the United States became UNTAES Transitional Administrator, with overall authority over the civilian and military components of the operation. …

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