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German Takes Over As Bosnia's Top Administrator --> Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the international community's new High Representative in Bosnia (file photo) (epa) 31 January 2006 -- German diplomat Christian Schwarz-Schilling today takes over as the top international administrator in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Schwarz-Schilling said on 30 January that he will focus on getting the ethnically divided country on a path toward European Union membership.

Schwarz-Schilling has a one-year mandate as the international community's High Representative and the EU special representative in Bosnia, with the possibility of an extension.

He replaces British diplomat Paddy Ashdown.

Schwarz-Schilling said that he would use his far-reaching powers -- which include the right to sack officials and impose laws -- only as a last resort.


Meet The Newsmakers

As part of its coverage of the 10th annversary of the Dayton Accord, RFE/RL spoke with Christian Schwarz-Schilling, who served as an international mediator in Bosnia-Herzegovina for nearly a decade and is now Germany's candidate to succeed Britain's Paddy Ashdown as the international community's and EU's high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

(To listen the RFE/RL's interview with Mr. Schwarz-Schilling, click here for Real Audio or here for Windows Media.)

RFE/RL also spoke with Wolfgang Petritsch, the international community's high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2002.

(To hear RFE/RL's interview with Mr. Petritsch, click here for Real Audio or here for Windows Media.)