Monday, October 11, 2004

Move over, NATO

The EU will take over for NATO in Bosnia:

European Union foreign ministers Monday agreed plans to take over peacekeeping duties in Bosnia from NATO on December 2, aiming to put the country "irreversibly on track towards EU membership."

The 7,000-strong "Althea" force, which will replace the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR), will be the biggest military operation yet undertaken by the 25-nation bloc.

"It will sustain our long-term objective of a stable, viable, peaceful and multiethnic Bosnia and Hercegovina, coooperating peacefully with its neighbours and irreversibly on track towards EU membership," the EU said after approving the force's operational plan.

The move came after NATO leaders in June moved to wind up the alliance's mission in the former Yugoslav republic, where an inter-ethnic war raged from 1992 to 1995 and claimed more than 200,000 lives.


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