The commander of the EUFOR military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), General Alexander Platzer, “in principle does not see a classic military threat in our country, despite Milorad Dodik’s announcements about the secession of Republika Srpska (RS).
“The general security situation in the country is stable,” Platzer told in an interview with Austria’s Der Standard.
He rejected the possibility of sending troops to Brcko, a place that divides RS into two parts. Such a move was suggested by some analysts to deter Dodik from further action.
“I am constantly asked about the sending of troops to Brcko and to this day I have not fully understood where this request came from. We are there and currently do not see the need for an additional troop presence. I think there would be more escalation than de-escalation if troops are sent to Brcko,” noted Platzer.
He emphasized that the fundamental task of EUFOR is to support local forces in maintaining a safe and stable environment. Apart from 600 operatives, there are currently additional troops in the supply area. Also, EUFOR has sufficient reserve forces that can be deployed at any time as needed.
Also, Platzer pointed out that the international community has spoken out against the occupation scenario by leaving the state responsibility to the authorities.
When it comes to the current debate on the expansion of the EUFOR mission to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Platzer stated that EUFOR’s mandate and its tasks are “completely separate from the High Representative’s (HR) civilian tasks.” Russia wants to remove all references to the Office of the HR (OHR) from the new EUFOR resolution.
“From a military point of view, it would make no difference to delete references to the OHR from the text of the EUFOR mandate in order to extend our mission. Whether this would harm the Dayton Agreement is another matter. I cannot assess that,” Platzer stated.
Platzer sees no problem with long rifles in RS.
“The type of equipment used by the police in RS corresponds to international standards. We also have long rifles in Austria,” he said.