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European Union urged to enhance peacekeeping forces by Bosnia

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Bosnia and Herzegovina has requested an increase in the number of soldiers for EUFOR’s Operation Althea, the EU’s peacekeeping mission in the country.

The request was made by a member of the Bosnian Presidency Council, Denis Beserović, after a meeting with the EU force commander, Maj. Gen. Helmut Habermeyer, in the capital, Sarajevo.

Beserović said the recent separatist rhetoric of Serbian leader Milorad Dodik, the head of the Republika Srpska entity, caused the need for more troops.

He added that the mission of EUFOR is to ensure the security and stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and called for an increase in the number of soldiers as soon as possible.

In response, Habermeier said that EU force units are closely monitoring developments and maintaining close contact with institutions.

However, a Serbian member of the Presidency Council, Željka Cvijanović, said that there is no security problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that it is not necessary to increase the number of EU force soldiers.

She added that Beserović’s remarks were “cheap” and that the problems in the country could be solved through dialogue.

She said: “There is no security problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is not necessary to increase the number of EUFOR soldiers.”

Operation Althea was established in 2004 to oversee the military implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and ensure security in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Earlier this month, the Netherlands announced that it would send 160 soldiers to EUFOR.

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