EU will close police mission in Bosnia

Mission to close down by the middle of next year; functions to be handed to EU delegation in Sarajevo.

The member states of the European Union have decided to close its 300-member police mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM) by the middle of next year. The decision, which has not been made public, was taken by national ambassadors at a meeting of the EU’s Political and Security Committee on 14 July and will be brought to a monthly session of EU foreign ministers for their approval in October or November.

It extends the mission by six months – through to the end of June 2012 – under a modified mandate and adds a month-long administrative closing-down phase. During that month, the EUPM is supposed to hand over some of its functions to a new unit based in the EU’s delegation in Sarajevo, the details of which remain vague.

An official said that the decision was a compromise principally between Germany and France, which wanted to close the police mission down by the end of this year, and the United Kingdom, which had fought to keep it open for another year, through to the end of 2012.

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