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Chief of Defence Visits Sarajevo

Szöveg: HDF General Staff |  2016. november 14. 14:57

On 10–11 November, Chief of Defence Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő visited the Hungarian soldiers serving in the theatre in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During his two-day stay, he also met with the commanders of higher staff elements responsible for tasking the Hungarian contingent.


On the first day of his visit, the general met with Brig.-Gen. Albert Sáfár, Chief of Staff at Headquarters European Union Forces (HQ EUFOR) and with Hungary’s ambassador accredited to Sarajevo, in order to discuss with them the challenges facing the region and the Hungarian troops. In what followed, he held a staff meeting for Hungarian peacekeepers at Camp Butmir, the duty station of the Hungarian contingent serving in Sarajevo, and briefed them about the planned developments, the core functions of newly formed organizations and the introduction of a new type of uniforms.


On the second day of his trip, Gen. Tibor Benkő held discussions with Brig.-Gen. Giselle M. Wilz, Commander, NATO Headquarters Sarajevo (NHQ Sa) and with the Commander of the European Union Force in BiH (COMEUFOR) Maj.-Gen. Schrötter about the current duties and role of the Hungarian contingent and its future tasks.

After the office calls, the Hungarian chief of defence visited the 19th rotation of the EUFOR National Support Element, where he was informed about the soldiers’ accommodation and working conditions, and witnessed the element’s readiness for supporting the reception of higher level units.

At present, around 170 Hungarian troops are participating in EUFOR Operation Althea. In the interest of regional security, they are ready to deploy at short notice to designated zones, where they secure the area of operations by conducting presence patrolling, information gathering activities (IGA), explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and crowd riot control (CRC) missions.

The current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is stable, but due to the security policy aspects of the permanent crisis in its internal affairs, the international community is paying close attention to the developments in the country.

Because of the geostrategic location of the region, Hungary has always attached special significance to the Western Balkans, thus it is still in its strategic interest to continue EUFOR Operation Althea and sustain a safe and secure environment in the region. The presence of EU-led military forces significantly mitigates the political and security challenges facing the country. Currently there is an ongoing long-term cooperation between the troop contributing nations (TCN) and the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina (AFBiH). Hungary is committed to maintaining the mandate of the operation.