European Union military forces that have been deployed as reinforcements to the mission in Bosnia will be distributed in the north of the country along the border with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Ministry of Defence confirmed on Friday.
Local media outlets have reported that the ministry had signed a decision on putting BiH’s barracks in Prijedor and Bijeljina at the disposal of the EUFOR command.
About 500 troops from European countries who were sent to BiH earlier this month will be stationed in the barracks after assessments that the security situation in the country has worsened in the wake of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“The deployment of soldiers and their equipment, including light armoured vehicles is a proportional precautionary measure showing EUFOR’s resoluteness to support partners in BiH to retain a secure environment,” EUFOR’s command office in Sarajevo reported earlier.
The total contingent of troops acting within the framework of the Althea operation has now been increased to 1,100.
Should any more serious incidents or security threats occur, an additional 2,500 reserve EUFOR troops could quickly be deployed into the field.
Prijedor was one of the key locations for NATO to deploy its troops to BiH to ensure the implementation of the military section of the Dayton Peace Accord. EUFOR mostly consists of British troops however with the completion of the SFOR mission in 2004, their base was dismantled.
Bijeljina on the other hand was secured by US troops.
Both cities administratively belong to the Republika Srpska entity and Bijeljina is in the vicinity of the border with Serbia.
The majority of EUFOR was stationed in the main base in Butmir, near Sarajevo with the exception of smaller surveillance teams distributed around the country.