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Bosnia: NATO Peacekeeping Forces To Remain

Brussels, 20 February 1998 (RFE/RL) - NATO confirmed today that international peacekeeping troops will remain in Bosnia-Herzegovina after their current mandate expires in June. The 16-member military alliance and non-NATO countries who supply the peacekeepers provisionally agreed, at a meeting in Brussels, to maintain the current 34,000 troops in Bosnia after 30 June.

Members also decided that the force will gradually be scaled back to about 25,000 after elections in Bosnia in September.

The peacekeeping force will keep the original SFOR name and continue the normal approach to indicted war criminals -- arresting them but not actively hunting them down.

The force is expected to include around 1,000 paramilitary police, demanded by the Americans to conduct security operations, and made up of Italian, Spanish, Polish, and possibly Argentine police.