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EU Force Takes Over Bosnian Peacekeeping

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December 6, 2004

EU Force Takes Over Bosnian Peacekeeping

by Geoffrey Hamilton

On December 2nd, the European Union's 7,000-strong force in Bosnia-Herzegovina assumed command of NATO's peacekeeping mission in the area. The situation in the region has stabilized significantly over the past few years despite claims in the mid-1990s that the mission had failed completely.

Consequently, allied forces on the ground have been scaled back from their peak of 60,000 to the 7,000 EU troops in the region today. Canada currently has 85 soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which contrasts the 1,800 that were deployed as part of the UN implementation force in support of the Dayton accord. Over 40,000 Canadians have contributed to NATO peacekeeping forces in Bosnia since 1992.

The assumption of command marks a major step forward in the European Union's development as a more-than-economic federation. It is the first time the union has deployed an EU-directed military force. An ad hoc attempt in 1995 to bring EU forces together to end violence in the region met with failure and prompted calls for the development of a permanent EU military arm.

» CBC: European Union takes over Bosnia peacekeeping from NATO with 7,000 troops

» Al Jazeera: Patrolling Peace in Bosnia

» Rocky Mountain News: A military test for European Union

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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