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Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN official disciplines police officers for code violations

Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN official disciplines police officers for code violations

The top United Nations law enforcement official in Bosnia and Herzegovina today took strong disciplinary measures against over a dozen Bosnian Croat police found to have violated the police code of conduct, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, known by the acronym UNMIBH.

Vincent Coeurderoy, Commissioner of the International Police Task Force, decertified six police offers and issued "serious non-compliance" reports to 10 others, UNMIBH said in a statement released in Sarajevo. The 16 Bosnian Croat officers had been suspended last month "after signing a statement in effect renouncing the authority of the Federation organs and pledging allegiance to an illegal structure."

The six decertified officers have been permanently dismissed from any police work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Coeurderoy reminded them that if they were discovered with firearms they would be treated by the NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR) "as armed civilians [who] may be seized and disarmed."

The 10 officers who had been issued non-compliance reports were no longer suspended and could return to work, UNMIBH said. It warned, however, that "any further violations committed by the officers may result in their immediate decertification."

Commissioner Coeurderoy also appealed to all officers in the area "to stay clear of politics and instead focus on the full integration of the Cantonal Police."

Set up in 1995, UNMIBH exercises a wide range of functions related to the law enforcement activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. IPTF is helping to create democratic and professional police forces which are multiethnic, impartial, accountable and representative of the society they serve.