The European Union has announced dramatic cuts to its peacekeeping force in Bosnia-Hercegovina (Eufor). The Eufor force will see numbers drop from 6,500 currently to about 2,500 over the next few months, the EU said.

Britain, which has heavy commitments both in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced on Thursday that it was withdrawing more than 600 of its Eufor troops.

The chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency said the country could now ensure stability and reform by itself.

The chairman, Nebojsa Radmanovic, said the move was „positive news“.

Eufor is responsible for safeguarding peace following the inter-ethnic war of 1992-95, in which about 110,000 people died. It took over from a Nato force in 2004.

On Wednesday the 27-member EU said it had decided „to reduce Eufor’s size but to keep an appropriate robust military presence“.

The reduction is expected to take up to three months.

The statement added that for a period of six months the EU reserved the right to boost troop levels again „if needed“.

On Tuesday the international community overseeing the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord announced it was retaining the office of the High Representative until June 2008, as the reforms it wanted had not been fully implemented.
01 March 07, BBC News

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