Bosnia – Herzegovina – Operation “ALTHEA”

The  Istanbul Summit, held on 28-29 June 2004 , decided upon the termination of operation Stabilisation Force (SFOR).

The UN Security  Council, by resolution 1551 dated 9 July 2004, requested the continuation of the operation by the European Union (EU).

The EU, following the successful conduct of operation Concordia in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,  decided to take over a greater military operation this time in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a NATO successor.

On 12 July 2004, the EU in the broader context of the European Security and Defence Policy, decided upon the assumption of the operation in  Bosnia-Herzegovina under the Code Name “ALTHEA”. The operation will be conducted according to the arrangements provided for by “BERLIN PLUS” between NATO and the EU. The operation was initiated on 2 December 2004 and its duration has yet to be determined.

The mandate of EUFOR is to conduct operations in Bosnia-  Herzegovina under the strategic guidance of the  European Security and Defence Policy, and the authority of the Council, aiming to provide deterrence, constant compliance,  bearing the responsibility for the fulfillment of those determined in annex 1A and 2 of the DAYTON General Framework  of Peace Agreement and to contribute to the establishment of a stable and secure environment according to the UN SC resolutions and to facilitate the efforts undertaken by the High Commissioner  of the UN Secretary General.

The operation maintained the initial force for five (5) semesters.

On  11 December 2006, the next four-step phase of the operation was approved by the Political Security Committee of the EU. During that phase, the forces will finally withdraw through gradual downsizing.

Step – 1 was initiated on the 28 February 2006 with the gradual downsizing. Currently, the total number of forces amounts to 2000 personnel.

On  12 July 2007, the Hellenic Force allocated to the Multinational task Force – North (MNTF-N), based in TOUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina, concluded its mission successfully and the participating Hellenic Armed Forces were repatriated.

Fourteen (14) countries participated in the MNTF-N namely: Austria, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Finland. Greece, as Framework Nation of MNTF-N, commanded the Force from 1st of December 2006 to the 27th of June 2007. It is noted that Greece assumed the command of Zone in a peace keeping operation, in the EU-NATO context for the first time.

Greece, as  Framework Nation  after  the Operation  had entered  the next Phase ( Step -1, on  28 February 2007) was authorized by EUFOR  and the other MNTF-N participating countries to hold negotiations and sign the relevant MOU with the Bosnian  Government on handing over the Camp Eagle Base (where a multinational force was stationed ) to the Bosnian Ministry of Defence.

The Base was handed over on 27 June 2007. The  ceremony was attended  by the   MOD of Bosnia Herzegovina, Selmo Cikotic ,   who warmly thanked Greece for the successful command of the peacekeeping operation by the Multinational Task Force North. He stressed that the  Hellenic Command inspired trust and gratitude among the  local authorities and population  for accomplishing their task. The  Commander of the B’ Hellenic Army Corps, as a representative of Greece and the EUFOR Commander attended the ceremony, as well.

Table of Hellenic Participations in Peace Support Operations