FBiH Interior Minister: Let's not compete in who has more police officers

NEWS 19.04.2019 19:07
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Source: N1

The Interior Minister of the Federation (FBiH), the part of Bosnia dominated by Bosniaks and Croats, told N1 on Friday that he sees an initiative for the establishment of an auxiliary police unit in the other semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpska (RS), as the “militarisation of police forces.”

The National Assembly of the Serb-majority RS has on Thursday adopted a draft of changes to the law which establish an auxiliary police unit there, causing concern among politicians in FBiH.

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“We believe that this is above all about the militarization of police forces, which is not good and is not in accordance with democratic standards and we don’t support it,” minister Aljosa Campara told N1.

“This is a draft, we will see what the future of it will be,” he said.

Campara is a member of the main Bosniak party in the country, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), which on Friday asked its members serving offices in institutions to also initiate the establishment of an auxiliary police unit in the FBiH “so that the balance of police forces is not disturbed.”

“All police forces in FBiH, in the RS and on the State and canton levels must be harmonised, absolutely balanced,” he told N1.

Campara said that some 30 or 40 per cent of positions in Bosnia’s police agencies are not filled, saying that it would make sense to fill those positions before establishing new units.

According to the RS Interior Minister, Dragan Lukac, one of the main reasons for establishing the additional unit over there is to respond to the migrant crisis.

But Campara said this makes no sense either, as protecting the borders is within the competency of the state and not the entities.

If the law in the RS is adopted in the end, “we will have an adequate response,” he said, but added that he thinks the RS initiative is mainly used for political purposes, for creating a crisis and “anxiety among Bosnian citizens.”

“If anyone thinks we should get into a competition, we can compete, both in the number of police officers and in regard to arms and budgets. The RS stands no chance against FBiH when economic parameters are taken into account,” he said.

But Campara said he is against such a competition and that Bosnia’s entities should rather be competing in the fight against corruption and organised crime as well as in progress on Bosnia’s path towards EU membership.

“We don’t need to be showing off arms, as Bosnia’s youth needs a Bosnia which will join the EU and NATO. All that concerns the security system needs to be discussed by domestic and European institutions,” he said.

He also commented on a certain provision in the RS draft which says that undercover investigators from other countries can be used on the territory of the entity.

“That damages the system and the trust in the work of police bodies. Nobody needs that,” he said.