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UN mission explains screening process for Bosnian police officers

UN mission explains screening process for Bosnian police officers

Responding to incorrect news reports, the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) today issued a statement clarifying its police reform efforts.

The police review process conducted by the Mission "is an administrative procedure of selection similar to a recruitment process," UNMIBH said in the statement released in Sarajevo. "It is entirely independent from any judicial proceedings."

Media reports which state that the Mission, by denying certification to a number of police officers, is prejudging the outcome of court trials of police officers are erroneous, UNMIBH stressed. It reiterated that every police officer denied certification had the right to appeal the decision.

The Mission also noted that the Dayton peace accords mandated it to help the Bosnian authorities in the implementation of their obligation to "provide a safe and secure environment for all persons by ensuring that civilian law enforcement agencies operate in accordance with internationally recognized standards and with respect for internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Police officers who meet the strict requirements for professional competence and personal integrity are awarded with certifications, UNMIBH said, in a process designed to ensure that the country would have a "non-political, professional and democratic police force."