The last remaining British troops in Bosnia-Hercegovina are leaving the country, 15 years after they were first deployed as peacekeepers. The 600 personnel were one of the main components of the European Union force, Eufor, which is being cut from 6,000 to about 2,500.

Most of the returning UK soldiers are Welsh Guards. A small number of staff officers will remain in Sarajevo.

Around 250,000 people died in the inter-ethnic war of 1992-95.

Although Eufor is being reduced, the international community overseeing the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord said it was retaining the office of the High Representative until June 2008.

It’s a phenomenal achievement by everybody who’s been here, and Britain has made a significant contribution.

Lt Col Richard Stanford

Initially British troops served with the United Nations, and then under Nato command until Eufor took responsibility for safeguarding peace in 2004.

They have largely been targeting war criminals‘ support networks and illegal weapons.

The country itself is now largely stable.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Stanford said British forces could be proud of their achievements.

„The legacy is this country now can stand on its own two feet… it’s a phenomenal achievement by everybody who’s been here, and Britain has made a significant contribution.“

24 March 07, BBC News

……which means that I’m now nearly alone in the Banja Luka Metal Factory 🙁

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