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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
FY 2009 U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Central and Eastern Europe


FY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals

Through its foreign assistance, the United States Government (USG) seeks to ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has a military that fulfills BiH’s security needs and advances its NATO membership goals with a stable and integrated command structure, effective, transparent and accountable law enforcement and judicial systems that uphold the law equally for all citizens, effective government institutions that encourage and enable active citizen involvement, a single economic space capable of providing economic opportunity for all citizens, and a society that values tolerance and diversity.

Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $35.38 million*

Date: 01/2010 Description: Bosnia and Herzegovina chart shows EG $8.28m 23%; P&S $13.61m 39%; GJD $10.87m 31%; Program Support $2.63m 7%. FY 2009 Areas of Focus--P&S: Peace and Security; GJD: Governing Justly and Democratically; EG: Economic Growth. - State Dept Image
(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2009, not including centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries.)

Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of Focus

Peace and Security

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Trained 98 police officers and 23 medical professionals in counterterrorism through courses on chemical/biological incidents, protective intelligence and investigations, surveillance detection, and combating bulk cash smuggling.

  • Supported efforts to strengthen BiH’s strategic trade control system, through workshops on brokering controls, end-use/end-user checks and advanced licensing concepts. Also enhanced Customs and Border Police officers’ capacity to identify and interdict weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials, investigate violations of BiH’s export control law, assess passengers as potential traffickers, and conduct patrol operations to control river and lake borders. Ten patrol vehicles and two comprehensive vehicle tracking equipment kits were provided to the Customs Anti-Smuggling Team to control BiH’s borders.

  • Supported BiH’s NATO aspirations through defense reform and NATO-standard training. USG-funded advisors provided training and mentoring for staff in the Ministry of Defense, Joint Staff, Operations Command, and Support Command. Officers attended staff training seminars and resident courses at the Marshall Center and seminars provided by the Center for Civil-Military Relations. As a result, the BiH military has improved staff capabilities in defense planning, personnel management, resource management, logistics support, training, and requirements determination.

  • Trained and equipped an Explosive Ordnance Destruction (EOD) unit and facilitated eight deployments of the unit to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The final deployment to OIF ended in December 2008. Current training and equipment will enable the EOD unit to complete counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) missions to NATO standards and increase its ability to contribute to Coalition Operations such as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Military-to-military events, including those led by the Maryland National Guard, focused on units with a high potential for deployments, such as the Military Police (MP). A Mobile Training Team trained MPs for five weeks supported by Global Peace Operations Initiative funds. Along with infantry platoons from each of the three brigades, the MPs are now one of the units under consideration for deployment to ISAF.

  • Improved coordination between numerous law enforcement agencies and strengthened law enforcement agencies’ complex investigation capacities, interagency coordination, international and regional cooperation, as well as BiH police force professionalism, economic sustainability, and management skills. Training and support to the State Investigation and Protection Agency (the national-level police) resulted in a 40% increase in the number of agency actions within its jurisdiction. USG assistance contributed to efforts to bring indictments in two major cases against organized crime groups. The Agency’s Special Support Unit conducted 200 operations, a third of which resulted in the arrest of terrorism, organized crime or war crimes suspects. USG assistance also trained 1,300 police and cadets, prosecutors, and criminal science students in evidence control over four years. U.S. funds equipped 15 evidence rooms, improved evidence procedures, and developed software to handle evidence efficiently.

  • Improved BiH’s capacity to combat trafficking in persons. USG advisors worked with the Human Trafficking Task Force to address vulnerable children and human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography cases. As a result of USG work to improve cross-border operations, border police arrested five suspects for human trafficking who were allegedly part of an organized criminal group that smuggled people through BiH, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary. As a result of a memorandum of understanding with the Government of BiH, the Ministry of Education and all pedagogical institutes agreed to adopt an anti-trafficking curriculum in all 291 secondary schools throughout the country, with plans to educate 580 school teachers and 16 education professors on trafficking prevention and future development of materials for non-formal anti-trafficking education.

Governing Justly and Democratically

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Continued to promote reforms to increase the effectiveness of the State Court and Prosecutor’s Office in advancing the rule of law. Judges are imposing sentences consistent with the gravity of the crimes committed. Three U.S. judges worked with State Court national judges and two international prosecutors worked with the State Prosecutor’s Office to process high-level organized crime and war crimes cases, including the last case transferred by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to BiH. They also worked to improve judicial operations, staff and investigation capabilities, and information availability; as well as to develop internal guidelines to improve the functioning of the State Court and Prosecutor’s Office.

  • Helped implement refined case selection criteria focusing on BiH’s most egregious war and organized crime cases. The War Crimes Department oversaw nation-wide efforts to digitize files (including its own), a key piece of the National War Crimes Strategy; established internal prosecution guidelines for bringing charges, accepting pleas (including plea bargaining), and transferring cases to other jurisdictions; and resolved jurisdiction issues on exhumation of remains nationwide. Trainings bring together prosecutors, judges, and police officers to promote greater inter-entity and professional cooperation. USG-funded advisors mentored cases resulting in two terrorism indictments and prosecution of an organized crime case that resulted in an extended sentence.

  • Supported the adoption of performance principles for 12 courts and standardization of judicial salaries affecting 500 staff. USG assistance also helped the Ministry of Justice to begin implementation of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy through conferences and working groups on legal aid, enforcement reform, and judicial independence and accountability.

  • Developed, in partnership with parliamentary audit committees, standardized procedures for reviewing audit reports to increase their oversight and follow-up activities’ impact.

  • Helped 13 municipalities to open citizen service centers to improve the efficiency and ease of service delivery, including faster and more transparent permit services for businesses and citizens. USG assistance supported 64 additional community development projects in 39 municipalities totaling $12 million in capital improvements for water systems, road construction and public buildings. Municipalities’ contributions of over half of this funding reflects their strong level of commitment to improve information flow within their operational structures and increase transparency to citizens.

  • Supported civil society to advocate for better public policy. Civil society organizations (CSOs) monitored the work of 13 governmental and parliamentary bodies at all levels, publishing and widely disseminating 120 reports on elected officials’ performance and identifying problems of accountability. Due to wide media coverage of the reports and public pressure, parliamentarians canceled unjustified supplemental payments in the amount of approximately $300,000. Supported by USG funding, the Council of Ministers adopted an anti-corruption strategy and created an anti-corruption agency, in line with European Union (EU) requirements.

  • Supported full implementation of the Law on Missing Persons (LoM) and strengthened the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) as long-term solutions to resolve the missing persons issue in BiH. U.S. assistance supported efforts to create a unified and verified record of missing persons in/from BiH, as stipulated by the LoM. U.S. assistance facilitated draft LoM amendments to establish a fund for support to families of missing persons and family associations.

  • Facilitated the recovery of over 1,600 sets of human remains from 17 sites in BiH from three mass-graves and nearly 3,000 skeletal examinations in order to identify and repatriate the remains of the individuals who perished during the conflict in the 1990s. U.S. assistance facilitated 2817 DNA-matching reports representing 1,005 individuals and periodic cumulative lists of DNA-matching reports related solely to Srebrenica cases, which totaled 11,722 matches.

  • Promoted tolerance among ethnic groups. Small grants to youth organizations strengthened youth coalitions and networks and played a role in developing future leaders. Youth activists, in turn, joined various civic movements to pursue socio-economic and political change. To help professional media preserve their independence, U.S.-funded grants supported protection of the rights of journalists and investigative reporting on challenging issues such as war crimes, corruption, human rights violations, intolerance and discrimination.

  • Helped streamline civic education curricula in elementary and high schools throughout BiH. The Republika Srpska (RS) Education Ministry decided to include a course called "Foundations of Democracy" in all RS elementary schools. USG funds also supported school competitions involving 900 BiH elementary and high schools with students from all ethnic groups and encouraged students to work together towards achieving positive changes in their communities. The United States donated 10,000 civic education elementary school textbooks and funded mobile kindergartens to provide disadvantaged and minority children with the opportunity to acquire quality kindergarten education. This program included 40 kindergarten groups from 28 cities in BiH, and 942 children successfully completed the program.

  • Established a team of experts from BiH, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Macedonia to research the current state of civic education in the region and recommend improvements. Two nationwide conferences with over 200 participants, including ministers of education from neighboring countries, pedagogical institute directors, university professors, civil society members, teachers and students identified challenges facing youth and proposed solutions for overcoming these obstacles.

Economic Growth

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Helped the Brcko District to issue KM 36.9 million (USD 27 million) in bonds to 1,722 depositors, with seven maturities from September 2009 to March 2015, to compensate for stolen pre-war foreign currency deposits. These bonds are available for secondary-market trading at Sarajevo and Banja Luka’s stock exchanges. USG technical assistance covered issuance, amortization, registry, and secondary market trading procedures.

  • Helped the State Ministry of Finance and Treasury on all operational aspects of establishing a state guarantee unit responsible for the valuation, issuance, and monitoring of all state issued guarantees. These guarantees are necessary for securing European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loans.

  • Supported the Federation Ministry of Finance and tax administration in modifying tax administration law and implementing a personal income tax law. USG programs helped strengthen human resource capacity in tax administration.

  • Improved information flow among local institutions, business communities, and citizens. The Srebrenica and Bratunac Digital Cities Project built an internet-based communication network across 17 institutions in these two towns. The project helped develop a new municipal web portal, providing citizens with central and online access to local government services information including employment, education and healthcare resources, administrative procedures, and local events.

  • Introduced disease-resistant crops for local farmers, including blueberry and raspberry varieties, which will allow farmers to extend the harvesting season. The project also conducted training on good agricultural practices and production technologies. In addition, USG programs assisted 200 farmers in establishing financing and sales agreements for their products through workshops and networking events.

  • Strengthened BiH's regulatory and energy infrastructure through recommendations for increasing market access, securing electricity supply, managing congestion, and improving other regulatory issues, such as cross-border electricity trade. The project organized multiple seminars on increasing market access to determine BiH’s readiness to comply with EU requirements and the Energy Community Treaty. In close coordination with power utilities, industrial customers, traders and regulators, the program served as a critical information conduit and advisor on regulatory and market issues.

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