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UN Security Council reauthorizes mandate of European force in Bosnia and Herzegovina

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to reauthorize the deployment of a European Union (EU) force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reiterating its support for peace and security in the Balkan country.

The Council welcomed the EU's intention to maintain its military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and authorized UN member states to act "through or in cooperation with the EU to establish for a further period of 12 months, starting from the date of the adoption of this resolution, a multinational stabilization force (EUFOR ALTHEA)."

The European Union Force Althea (EUFOR ALTHEA), first deployed in 2004, is a military presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is responsible for maintaining peace and security in the region and helping to build the capacity of the country's armed forces.

The European force is also responsible for upholding the Dayton Peace Agreements, which ended inter-ethnic fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 and established the country's independence and a framework for its institutions.

In Tuesday's resolution, the Council members expressed their intention to "consider the terms of further authorization as necessary in the light of developments in the implementation of the peace agreement and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Moreover, the resolution invited all states, in particular those in the region, to continue to provide appropriate support and facilities, including transit facilities, and demanded the parties respect the security and freedom of movement of EUFOR ALTHEA.

EUFOR ALTHEA is the successor to the NATO-led peacekeeping missions -- the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the implementation force (IFOR) -- in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The transition from SFOR to EUFOR was largely a change of name and commanders, as 80 percent of the troops remained in place.

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