NATO hands over Bosnia peacekeeping duties to EU force

The deployment of some 7,000 EUFOR troops across Bosnia Herzegovina
on 2 December marks the launch of the EU’s largest-ever
peacekeeping operation.

According to a previously agreed schedule, a 7,000-strong EU
force takes over the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia Herzegovina
from NATO on 2 December. The war in Bosnia ended nine years ago.
The troops, formally identified as the European Union Force
(EUFOR), take over from NATO’s 60,000-strong
Stabilisation Force (SFOR). 

EUFOR is the EU’s biggest military operation to date, and the
first to be undertaken as part of its common foreign and
security policy. The operation, codenamed ‘Althea’, is
under a British commander, Major General David Leakey. In
2003, the EU deployed troops in Congo and Macedonia
(FYROM). 

A total of 33 nations, including 22 EU members, have contributed
troops to EUFOR. NATO will maintain small troop contingents in
Sarajevo and Tuzla, mainly to support the prolonged efforts to
capture war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. NATO also
remains responsible for peacekeeping operations in Kosovo.

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