The United States Embassy will seek further information on the purpose of the auxiliary police unit whose formation the Republika Srpska (RS) authorities recently announced, the Embassy's Public Affair's Office told N1.
The Government of Republika Srpska, one of the two semi-autonomous entities within Bosnia and Herzegovina, adopted end of March changes to the law on police which introduced an auxiliary police unit in the entity. The draft was forwarded to the RS National Assembly for adoption.
“We have been familiarised with the fact that the Republika Srpska Government endorsed the draft amendment to the Law on Police and Internal Affairs, which may be used to form an auxiliary unit of the Republika Srpska Police forces,” the Embassy said pointing out that they would ask for additional information regarding these plans “given the fact that some of the competencies are out of scope of the Republika Srpska Ministry of Internal Affairs.”
The announced law changes prompted reactions in Bosnia's other semi-autonomous region, FBiH, where some political leaders expressed concern over what they said was "the arming of entity police with military firearms."
In response, the RS official said there was no room for concern and that the new unit would act to provide safety to all citizens of that part of the country.
The European Union's (EU) representative in Bosnia expects the proposed law changes to be improved during the amendment phase. The Union “closely monitors” the developments in the rule of law area and has taken the note of the announced changes, said the EU Delegation/EU Special Representative in Sarajevo.
“BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina) citizens need a professional and autonomous police that can prevent crime, investigate offences and bring criminals to justice, but also protect citizens,” the EU's office told N1 adding that, “the EU is committed to support the police structures in BiH to strengthen cooperation, coordination and efficiency to meet the needs and expectations of the BiH citizens in line with EU and international standards.”
“The EU stands ready to offer its support.”
OSCE Mission said the efforts to increase security capacities should be done “in close coordination with all relevant security actors” in the country and in the spirit of “relevant national and international commitments.”
Considering the complexity and interdependence of modern security risks, the OSCE's office in Sarajevo noted, all security actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina should ensure the coordination of activities of existing mechanisms within its security system
“As such, they should be jointly planned, implemented and interconnected to create opportunities that BiH can use to build security for all of its citizens. The Mission considers that the RS government should be mindful of potential negative perceptions and ensure that it builds confidence both within the RS and across BiH,” said the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe 's representative in Sarajevo.