United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) was an international organization formed under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1035 on 21 December 1995. It completed its mandate on 31 December 2002, when it was succeeded by the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

From the UNIMBH website:

UNMIBH’s mandate is to contribute to the establishment of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina by assisting in reforming and restructuring the local police, assessing the functioning of the existing judicial system, and monitoring and auditing the performance of the police and others involved in the maintenance of law and order.

UNMIBH was headed by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The SRSG exercised authority over the UN’s IPTF Police Commissioner and coordinated other United Nations activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main components of UNMIBH were: IPTF (International Police Task Force); the Criminal Justice Advisory Unit; a Civil Affairs Unit; and a Human Rights Office. The Mission had a nation-wide presence with regional headquarters in Banja Luka, Bihac, Doboj, Mostar, Sarajevo, Tuzla and a district headquarters in Brcko.[1]

From 2001 through 2003, at the request of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Jacques Paul Klein served as his Special Representative and Coordinator of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the rank of Under-Secretary-General. As Chief of Mission, he had overall management authority and day-to-day management responsibility of 2,700 international police officers from 46 different countries, 432 international diplomats and civil servants from 95 countries, and a local national staff of 1,400 members assigned to Sarajevo and seven regional offices in the country with a budget of $168.2 million. UNMBIH restructured and downsized a 44,000 pre-war police force to approximately 16,000 trained, vetted and equipped personnel. The task force identified approximately 249 criminal establishments, conducted 855 raids and permanently closed more than 150 of them. In conjunction with the International Office of Migration, the task force repatriated over 250 women to their countries of origin. The Mission recruited and trained the first BiH police contingent that was deployed to the United Nations Mission in East Timor and the first group of Bosnian United Nations military observers. He focused on combating international terrorism, illegal migration and organized crime and within eighteen months was able to cut the number of illegal persons entering BiH, through its three airports, from 25,000 to 300 per year.

In 2003 Officer Kathryn Bolkovac discovered a ring of human trafficking involving UN officers, after two young girls appeared after being sold and abused in illegal brothels. Dozens of girls began turning up with 'eerily similar' stories: They'd taken a job abroad as a waitress or cleaner or nanny – often at the insistence of their own families – but during the journey everything had gone wrong. They were taken somewhere else altogether, forcibly stripped and sold to someone who humiliated, beat and raped them into dead-eyed submission. Now they were imprisoned in brothels in Bosnia. The UN mission in Bosnia finished in January 2003 but the abuses did not end there. The former mission head, Jacques Paul Klein, under whose supervision the cases of human trafficking occurred, did not do anything to help Kathyrin Bolkovac and dismissed all her claims, alluding the abused girls were ´whores of war´and he was not going to change anything. In fact, Jacques Paul Klein, the head of the UN mission in Bosnia, went on to lead the UN mission in Liberia, where he presided over similar scandals.[2][3]


  1. ^ https://peacekeeping.un.org/mission/past/unmibh/background.html
  2. ^ Diu, Nisha Lilia (6 February 2012). "What the UN Doesn't Want You to Know" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  3. ^ "U.S. Officials Divulge Reports On Confidential U.N. Audits". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2019-03-09.

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