German troops back to Bosnia

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Germany has deployed troops with the European Union’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia for the first time in a decade as concerns mount instability from the Ukraine war could spread to the Western Balkans.

On Tuesday, the first German troops to return to the country were greeted in a ceremony at the Sarajevo headquarters of the EUFOR force that marked the start of their mission, a German military spokesman said.

Germany will deploy some 30 troops in total to Bosnia by mid-September, returning to the force that it had left at the end of 2012.

Bosnia is hundreds of miles from the fighting in Ukraine but faces an increasingly assertive Bosnian Serb separatist movement that analysts say has at least tacit support from Moscow. NATO and senior EU officials have warned that instability from the war in Ukraine could spread to the Western Balkans.

Only days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU decided to almost double the size of its EUFOR peacekeeping force to 1,100 from 600 troops by sending in reserves to stave off potential instability. —Reuters

 

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