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Bosnian Serbs Reject Police Reform

14 September 2005 -- The Bosnian Serb parliament rejected today by 84 percent of those voting a plan to unify Bosnia-Herzegovina's ethnically divided police forces.

The central government proposed merging the police forces and centralizing administration of their budgets.

Bosnia's police forces comprise about 18,000 police officers of whom roughly one-third are in Republika Srpska. The parliament said in its conclusions that it would oppose "any model' of police organization that includes interentity border crossing.

Bosnian Serb officials are under growing international pressure to support police unification in order for EU-Bosnia talks to begin by the end of the year. The agreement is seen as the first step towards membership in the bloc.