Five Chilean Army officers deployed June 7 to Bosnia and Herzegovina to fulfill the mission of the Chilean Peace Force CHILFOR 36 and replace personnel who represented Chile for more than seven months under Operation ALTHEA, the Chilean Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO) said. The objective of the mission is to help create a climate of security and ensure that the framework agreements for peace, also known as the 1995 Dayton Accords, are respected in those territories.
During the ceremony at the multinational base Camp Butmir in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chilean Army Lieutenant Colonel Nicolás Silva, leader of CHILFOR 35, and his team, passed the baton to the CHILFOR 36 contingent, led by Chilean Army Lieutenant Colonel JoséLuis Ortiz.
“The tasks of these officers are key: They will carry out work in the intelligence cell for the collection and processing of information, training, and services,” Chilean Navy Captain Héctor Fuentes, coordinator of the Peacekeeping Operations area of the Joint Staff’s Joint Operations Department, told Diálogo. “For Chile, participating in this mission […] allows us to interact with European Union forces, which are highly operational, and gives us an opportunity toaccess all of their capabilities, training, and operational systems.”
“Operation ALTHEA is one facet of a comprehensive and coherent EU [European Union] commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It adds an extra dimension to […] assistance programs and monitoringmissions that are already underway. ALTHEA is the third and largest military operation that the EU has embarked upon to date,” the EU highlights on its official site, about the operation named after the Greek goddess of healing. Operation ALTHEA istasked with assisting the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in maintaining a safe and stable environment within its borders and providing support to local authorities in the undertakings derived from the Dayton Accords, such as demining activities and managing arms and ammunition storage sites, among others.
Chile’s participation is part of the 2001 Association Agreement between Chile and the EU, allowing it to become the first Latin American country to act as a partner in the EU Crisis Management Operations system.
As of 2022, the ALTHEA mission consists of some 600 troops. A total of 14 countries of EU member states are present within the EU Force (EUFOR): Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania,Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
In addition, other nations, including Chile,Albania, North Macedonia, Switzerland,and Turkey, take part in EUFOR.
“The stability of a country like Bosnia and Herzegovina is fundamental not only to its progress, but to global peace as a whole. To the extent that the world remains at peace, countries can progress and, if not, when this status is affected in one country, many other nations and the welfare of the people are negatively affected,” Capt. Fuentes said.“Chile has a commitment to international cooperation, peacekeeping operations, and in being present as a relevant actor in building global peace, which we cannot take for granted.”