Ten years after the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) was established in Bosnia to help train local police and law enforcement agencies, the agency is declaring its mission fulfilled.
Initially consisting of around 500 police officials, the EUPM was whittled down over the years to a group of 130 before officially ending its mission Saturday.
"We leave behind a system of police organizations and institutions in the criminal justice that have achieved a level of professionalism in providing security and the rule of law that makes them prepared for what is coming now," said EUPM head Stefan Feller.
Bosnia is hoping to apply for EU membership this year. Part of that process will involve showing Brussels that it is capable of combating corruption and organized crime on its own.
The EUPM mission replaced a similar one from the United Nations, which was set up following the Balkan War from 1992-95. It was initially only supposed to run for three years, but the mandate was extended to create a modern, sustainable, professional multi-ethnic police force that was trained, equipped and able to assume full responsibility and to independently uphold law enforcement at the level of international standards.
mz/tj (Reuters, AFP)