UNSC Meets on Deterioration in Bosnia and Herzegovina

DPC is sharing threads posted on Twitter/X for readers not on that platform.

1/ Today the UN Security Council has #Bosnia and Herzegovina #BiH on its agenda: a report by @OHR_BiH and a vote on renewing the @euforbih mandate.

The High Representative’s report is available here:

2/ Apart from self-justification for the Oct 2022 and April 2023 “reform” impositions and unwarranted positivity on EU progress (inter alia), the report is generally strong – and particularly damning on secessionist steps (points 27-36)and other obstruction by RS authorities.

3/ Of particular concern is the EUFOR question. US officials last May seemed to be confident in both the force strength and renewal of the mandate; senators did not dig deeper in a hearing.

4/ We @DPC_global have long called for a strong deterrent and preparations for a Russian veto.

5/ While we have no insight into Moscow’s plans, there are ample reasons to suspect Russia might want to cast its long foreshadowed spanner into the works now, given the global environment and polarization amplified by its war on #Ukraine and the war in #Gaza.

6/ On the question of troop strength, it is clear that @euforbih with its current numbers and configuration cannot adequately respond to challenges to a safe and secure environment, much less deter them – the reason it exists.

7/ This is already evident from the rising incidence of attacks on returnees, as noted in the HR’s report, and recurring blocking of the inter-entity boundary line orchestrated by the RS.

8/ There seems a blithe confidence that @nato will fill the void, justified by Annex 1A of the DPA, should Russia cast its veto today. We hope there is preparation in place for this eventuality. But none is evident.

9/ As we noted at the time, @euforbih could have maintained reinforcements in #BiH following the Brzi Odgovor exercise in September. Troops on the ground – not over the horizon – is what deters. A full brigade, with presence in Brčko, Mostar, and mobility statewide, is required.

10/ While a renewal is preferable, given the uncertainty (and likely lack) of contingency planning, it also comes with baggage: the incoming Hungarian command, as well as the complacency engendered by dodging another bullet. We hope the West has learned its lesson.