Defence minister says forces of other countries present in Bosnia to provide security

NEWS 22.11.202322:28 0 komentara

There are other forces in Bosnia alongside EUFOR - the European Union military deployment, that are sufficient to provide security, defence minister Zukan Helez told N1, refusing to unveil more details.

“I know what we have and who we have, and I can tell the citizens to be peaceful and calm. This is entirely peaceful and stable country,” the minister said.

“They are members of armies of certain countries. They are present in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he noted, adding that this is a result of his lobbying abroad.

Speaking in N1's Pressing show, Helez said that the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina “have never been better.”

“We are only used to saying when something is bad, that is not correct. We only have problems with public procurement. I haven't solved that yet, but I am on the way to do it,” said the minister, adding that he will use the Great Britain's model to solve this matter.

Commenting on the latest visits by senior foreign officials to Bosnia and Herzegovina – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, he assessed it positively, saying that this was a very important message and that “these people don't come to all countries.”

He accused two former state ministers, foreign minister Bisera Turkovic and security minister Selmo Cikotic – both of the now opposition SDA party, of hindering the country's NATO road.

“These are not accusations, these are the facts. They did that in 2021 and it made our path to NATO more difficult,” said Helez, adding that the two ministers voted in favour of renaming the NATO path into “cooperation with NATO,” which significantly changed the situation.

He called it a “dam” to Bosnia's NATO accession.

“Now an MP can say this is an obstacle on the NATO road. That obstacle was created exactly by these two ministers,” he underlined.


Helez also revealed the information about “military training camps” on the territory of the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska, saying that they are aimed for “paramilitary units” and that their activities are closely followed.

“We have intelligence data about training held on the territory of RS and that this is led by some people from Russia to make young men militarily prepared. There are a few camps, and I am telling them we know where they are, they have been located, and that we can eliminate that,” he stressed.

According to him, the number of those taking part in the training varies, and some of the exercises are “semi-legal.”

“Institutions know about the camps, and the paramilitary units. It does not happen on daily basis, they come and go. They exercise with weapon, we know where they get it from,” said the minister, adding that he has also informed the international community about it.

He also commented on the secession threats made by Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, saying that Dodik has been saying the same for ten years now but he has no resources to secede.

“Dodik is trying to do something out of desperation, but he won't do anything,” Helez added.

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