On Aspects of Security, Crime, and Crime Control

Dear reader, I am deeply sorry: I took all the juicy case studies out! So this is the condense, admittedly very intense version of reading, without the narrative of why we find ourselves in situations like these. My professional line of work is political, and I will not mix this part with what I can say, in my personal capacity, in public, and what I can say simply because we All say this. The interrelationship is obvious, and the message needs to get out: There is no alternative to assisting in overcoming conflicts that are so different from what we have seen before. Neither there is an alternative to containing such conflicts, nor to assistance building the capacity in these States.

Just this afternoon, I was asked to brief a group of national politicians visiting the UN. Not only that all were surprised about what we do, I had to find answer to the question: “Why are we doing all this?”

My answer is the same like the United Nations military Force Commander of our Mission MINUSCA in Mali used, when he was asked “Why?’, in a BBC video. His reply at the end of this video, which by the way depicts many UNPOL officers: “Because no one else does it“.


So, again, here you go:

In every society, two major forces drive the construction of mechanisms that realize the provision of security, maintenance of order, and adjudication of justice: Consent and imposition. All systems establish variations of this, except on some occasions their two most extreme forms: Pure anarchy and pure dictatorship. Democratic systems strive for maximum consent. Member States of the UN establish variations which the UN must accept, within fundamental boundaries of least common denominators, passionately working on achieving more common ground.

The results in all chosen variations, the rich diversity that one can see within all Member States of the UN, includes the notion of the specific values and the cultural context underpinning the fabric of chosen forms of governance: How a specific system of providing security and justice is set up depends on the history, including that of values, in a society.

From a UN policing perspective, this understanding is critically important for providing security, and addressing the nexus between crime and crime control: Except for cases of internationally defined crime, like for example, crime against humanity, or genocide, common definitions vary in every local context. The legal definition of human action which is commonly considered constituting an act of less grievous crime will, at best, be similar. Likewise, and perhaps more importantly, the understanding of how a given society wants to deal with providing security for its citizens and with crime control varies. The definition of a crime fitting into the category of, say, sexual exploitation and abuse, differs as much from one local context to another as the way how to prevent, to investigate, to prosecute, how to punish, and how to deal with perpetrators and victims during that process, and in the aftermath.

Thus, for capacity building it is critical to find a common denominator, a consensus for all, on the side of those who rebuild, and the side of those who assist. Driven by the fundamental values underpinning the UN, UNPOL strives for the maximum, rather than the least common denominator. This holds true for the substance of assistance, but also for the methodology of how to assist: In absence of any common denominator, there otherwise is a less homogenous (at best) group of different experts with a national background, applying some “coherence” borne from pragmatism and realpolitik in any given situation. The frequent rotation of international personnel adds. These last two dry sentences carry the weight of experiences of countless situations in every single peace operation of all international organizations, describing the limitations of such well-meant and best intended, but limited approaches.

Rarely, a change in the national composition of peacekeepers assisting in capacity building will leave longer term concepts of implementation unaffected. Alternatives, such as specialized teams made from coherent professional background, perhaps even from neighboring security and justice systems, may alleviate this problem, but still a joint conceptual understanding is necessary for any organization composed of staff from the many different Member States of the UN. Sustainability of impact depends on coherence, vision, strategy, and partnership. This is why the development of the United Nations Police Strategic Guidance Framework SGF sits at the core of all long-term work of the Police Division.

Contemporary challenges as described in this chapter make it even more challenging to act without a joint conceptual framework, if one looks at the duration of assistance needed, of which PKO and SPM are only a part, and the complexity of interwoven factors. More recent history provides a few examples for a coherent national and complex, long lasting assistance scheme. One example for such cases is the German reunification after 1989, leading to intense and very costly partnerships between German States from the former “West Germany”, and their new partners from the East, integrating themselves with assistance into the reunited Germany as of today.  Some States have taken responsibility for assistance in their geographic region, as for example Australia does admirably in the case of Timor Leste, and other neighbors. The UN system does not work like that, it requires a broader participation, and it should, at least as a whole, represent the contribution of efforts of the entire constituency.

It also has been shown in earlier chapters to which extent policing in PKO and SPM co-exists with policing capacity and expertise provided by AU and EU, or bilaterally. But even where the UN system builds on regional contributions, the challenge of harmonization, coherence of policy and ability to contribute through trained expertise is extremely demanding. And lastly, the UN system of peace operations can not solely implement mandates by taking recourse to national support efforts, including those of willing neighbors, for many reasons. These efforts can be very useful and important, but will always need to be a part. The whole, therefore, requires a common denominator.

The common denominator for UN policing begins with an understanding of what policing and the rule of law are about, in our work, and as a prerogative for any assistance to domestic capacity building. On its uppermost level it is described within the policy document “United Nations Police in Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions⁠1“, our entry point into the Strategic Guidance Framework:

(1) “For the United Nations, the rule of law refers to a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency⁠2.

(2)Policing refers to a function of governance responsible for the prevention, detection and investigation of crime; protection of persons and property; and the maintenance of public order and safety. Police and law enforcement officials have the obligation to respect and protect human rights, including the right to life, liberty and security of the person, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant instruments. Pursuant to the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, police and other law enforcement officials are required, at all times, to fullfil the duty imposed upon them by law, by serving the community and by protecting all persons against illegal acts, consistent with the high degree of responsibility required by their profession.⁠3

This is why the strategic focus of the SGF has always been finding a way how to harmonize the assistance, using the rich experience of the many different cultures of policing, but striving for separating this from the less guided and less homogenous use of diversity of expertise stemming from local contexts within the countries UNPOL officers come from: Like a Police Director in a host country that witnessed almost seventeen years of police capacity building assistance, sitting at the helm of the local version of an FBI, once said to a new incoming Chief Adviser: “You are the umpteenth new Chief Adviser to me. Which new wisdom do you bring to my office?” This sentence both reflects the critical importance of finding the right duration of assistance, but equally important the harmonization needs, and preventing these harmonization needs from reaching levels of detail which should be entirely left to local emanation of concepts.

But what if the prerogative for assistance to capacity building is not there? What if the reality on the ground, for a variety of reasons, inhibits efforts to build capacity, whilst the very threats for peace and security, against which this domestic capacity is so direly needed, is on the rise? What if, therefore, peacekeeping finds itself in a protracted period of having to contain a situation, including the protection of civilians, whilst actors who threaten the very peace process are including non-identifiable parties to the conflict?

Contemporary United Nations multidimensional mandates often include, amongst other tasks of peacekeeping operations, the tasks of protecting civilians, and capacity building. From a security perspective the military and police components of these PKO contribute to containing a given situation of conflict, or stemming from conflict. They apply deterrence, and to some extent coercion in an effort to give a political process space, towards peace and security. The momentous task lies with that these missions need to move a political process, utilizing the impact and momentum generated by such containment. This requires to support domestic capacity building, and begins already with the interrelationship with domestic actors on the protection of civilians. It can be a complex “jumpstart” process, from disorder into a structured “pathfinding”, leading to appropriate solutions supporting the begin of regular capacity building⁠4.

A comprehensive case study identifies several different challenges for UNPOL:

(1) In a group of UN peace operations, the path into gaining results from capacity building for the peace process is not opened yet, stuck, or seriously impeded in its conceptualization and operationalization, due to a variety of reasons;

(2) In some of the above situations these deficiencies are conducive to a (re)surge of violent extremism and terror stemming from regional and global connections, producing regional and global consequences;

(3) More recently, crime plays an increasing role, in collaboration with violent extremism, and terror;

(4) UNPOL is challenged beyond a more classical understanding of it’s role in protecting civilians, and capacity building, as a consequence of the impact of crime to the instability and threat to the host State, mission mandate, and mission personnel.

When describing these challenges, the successful cases tend to disappear towards the back row. However, the successful cases of Bosnia&Herzegovina, Kosovo, Timor Leste, Sierra Leone, they exist. Haiti, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, they are situations aspiring to be added to the group of successful country situations.

Yet, these contemporary cases stand out: Crime has become a pressing component of threats against peace and security, and peace operations. At the same time the path into capacity building is severely hampered by this very crime, violent extremism, and terror. The scenario resembles the scenario of asymmetric war fighting: Neither are conventional military responses developed for symmetric wars capable means for asymmetric military situations, nor is a political effort of promoting peace, including through assistance to capacity building, effective if it can not address the asymmetric attacks which come from the nexus of crime, violent extremism, and terror. PKO and SPM alike in these situations operate under the same challenges as were confronting the International Community in Iraq or Afghanistan.


(a) From emerging experience with these cases, and monitoring the development in Africa and the Middle East, there is indication that such cases constitute a trend. Country situations in which UNPOL in PKO and SPM are deployed have a regional context with neighbors which face similar trajectories. The relevant crime dimension never acts local, but at least regional, and often in a global context, as the dimensions of violent extremism and terror do, too.

(b) In relation to PKO and SPM, criminals and an increasingly large group of extremists promoting violence and terror are not recognized parties to the conflict, or are excluded from being part of the peace process because of their terrorist affiliation, or are hiding in plain sight, being part of peace mediation efforts, but having second agendas motivated by crime, and corruption. Efforts of capacity building get prolonged, if started at all, and the encompassing deterioration of the security and overall situation weakens the credibility of peace operations. Direct and increasingly often lethal attacks against peacekeepers thus, in this anticipation, may become the worrying norm. Crime in the form of Serious and Organized Crime SOC has begun to play a new role in contributing to drivers of conflict, threatening peace processes. Our work on establishing conducive environments for building peace and security is affected by the nexus between crime, violent extremism, and terror,⁠7 all benefitting from what we understand as endemic corruption.

Nation States are the constituting elements of contemporary international order. This system calls for restoration of (legitimate) State authority in a case of post-conflict engagement by peace operations. In an era of globalization, these elements of consent and control, however, are fundamentally challenged by non State actors who act regional, and global, including through using means of the borderless Internet. The notion of a “global village” is wrong. It’s more looking like a global paradigm change, with all the chaotic phases that come with these.

In an earlier article⁠8 I wrote: “In most UN peace operations, we see security and justice institutions incapacitated by conflict. Establishing sustainable governance in communities, nations and states is a core element in the process of achieving peace and security.

While the mandate implementation plan of a peace operation is adapted to both its local and regional context, every conflict into which we deploy is also tied to a global context. The global drivers of conflict are thus interconnected with each and every peace operation. Awareness of these undercurrents, including for example the collaboration of transnational organized crime with extremists and terrorists, is critical in preparing modern peace operations to effectively discharge their mandate and help put fragile countries emerging from conflict on the road towards sustainable peace and security.

What needs to be added is the impact of global, instantaneous Internet-based communication. The awareness of the impact of social networks in contemporary spreading of violent extremism, for example, only gradually emerges.

Against such a prognosis, there is however no known alternative to capacity building within the context of restoring order, security, and a rule of law. Without assistance, countries emerging from conflict, or struggling with regional dimensions of global conflict, are left to their own devices. Such a worst case scenario does not lead to only local conflict dimensions, but has profound global consequences that affect the entire community of States, through crime, and migration of millions of the Worlds’ poorest and least fortunate, victims of unimaginable violence. The impact of this on societies receiving this traumatized and disillusioned scarred constituency has just begun. Receiving States appear to be on the defense. Migrating victims may carry hope of survival, but not the memory of a State caring about their even most basic rights and needs. The breeding battle of xenophobia reverberates between violent fundamentalists and terror on one side and voices on the side of States affected by the export of crime and terror on the other side. It leads to a chicken-and-egg situation, and only to entrenchment.

To affected communities in conflict-torn States, crime offers alternative livelihood for the disillusioned and tormented. Violent extremism, on the other hand, pays off for subordination by offering social services that States threatened by it did not render, and now can not render. Prevention, deterrence, and perspectives for livelihood fail.


1 United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Field Support; Ref. 2014.01; 01 February 2014; http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/sites/police/documents/Policy.pdf

2 Ibid; Footnote 6, pg. 5, referencing the Report of the Secretary-General on the Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies (S/2004/616)

3 Ibid; Para. 14

4 One very demanding example was UNMIK: Since 1999, UNMIK in Kosovo was given extensive executive powers. UNPOL on UNMIK’s side worked in close collaboration with military NATO units of KFOR, in protecting civilians, and substituting for the absence of legitimate authority, on all levels. UNMIK was the executive police in Kosovo, whilst establishing the domestic Kosovo police was its main long term objective. But since the entire system of criminal justice and detention had broken down, UNMIK had to chart a new path, from the absence of justice towards a system ensuring transitional and regular justice. All chapters of how to do this were written without blueprint. They include the prevention of most serious crime at a time when no viable judicial mechanism was in place. However, UNMIK had legal power to create law, including criminal and criminal procedural law, which set this mission apart from any recent development. It included an entire internationally staffed UNMIK Department of Justice and likewise a Department of Corrections, and allowed a path towards the establishment of a rule of law system that was incrementally capable to correspond to the actions undertaken by UNPOL, and later on the Kosovo police.

5 Very good reading: Rebellion and fragmentation in northern Mali; CRU Report March 2015; Clingendael Institute; Netherlands


6 Ibid,

7 See, for example, as mentioned in the chapter on SPM: Report of the SG on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/N1341359.pdf

Last access January 18, 2016

Also see UNSCR 2185: 26. Encourages information sharing, where relevant and appropriate, between Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations including its Police Division, the Department of Political Affairs, the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the United Nations Development Program, within existing mandates and resources, when considering means to address, in a comprehensive and integrated manner, transnational organized crime, terrorism and violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism;

8 Stefan Feller; UN Police, International Crime and Terrorism; Huffington Post 2015; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefan-feller/un-police-international-c_b_6670430.html

Special Political Missions and the Inclusion of International Policing

This is dry reading, just saying upfront. It’s important, though, for those who want to understand the big picture a bit better, getting an overview. Sorry, I took out all fancy things, as they are internal and I would need to get authorization for putting it here. Not that I would not get it. But it’s for a later stage. These are simply all facts that everybody can look up. I just compiled it, using my own words. If you managed to stay tuned reading on peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and conflict prevention, you will be rewarded with something putting it together with less dry words, soon. It’s like when I read one of my beloved books about quantum physics: The theoretical explanation sucks (my brain works differently, which is a nice excuse for that I was mostly like Calvin&Hobbes) but sometimes I need to hang in there… 

Here you go.

General aspects of conflict and mandates for SPM

Right at it’s beginning, the HIPPO report maps the continuum of UN peace operations as of today: It ranges from peacekeeping operations to special political missions, good offices, and mediation initiatives. The report identifies four essential shifts, one of which being that the full spectrum of peace operations must be used more flexibly to respond to changing needs on the ground⁠1.

In order to understand the interrelationship between peacekeeping operations PKO and special political missions SPM, a look into the normative framework of both is necessary. The Capstone Doctrine⁠2 aims to define the nature, scope and core business of UN PKO, whilst putting them into the larger continuum of peace operations. It’s guiding effect as a top-level policy document is limited to PKO. Peacekeeping is defined as a technique designed to preserve the peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted, and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers. The Capstone Doctrine identifies “Conflict Prevention”, “Peacemaking”, “Peace enforcement”, and “Peacebuilding” as further building blocks within a range of activities undertaken to maintain peace and security. The Capstone Doctrine also identifies “grey areas⁠3” between these topical subjects.

Relevant to Special Political Missions, the grey areas between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding become visible: SPM can be mandated anywhere except in the field of peacekeeping. The Capstone Doctrine elaborates the necessity of taking the interrelationship between peacekeeping and other forms of activities into account, but it does not provide guidance within those respective areas themselves, thus it does not provide guidance on SPM. This chapter’s relevance stems both from the fact that SPM can precede or succeed peacekeeping operations, or even coexist⁠4 with PKO.

In terms of historical development of what is, since the 1990s, known as Special Political Missions SPM, the SG’s first thematic report on SPM to the UN General Assembly as of July 29, 2013 is a core reference⁠5. And right at the beginning, the SG begins with stating that “at the heart of conflict, more often than not, are political issues.” This recognition is sitting at the heart of the HIPPO report of 2015, too. In the form of political missions, SPM go back in UN history to the early time of 1948, like peacekeeping operations do. In his report as of 2013, the SG describes the time between the late 1960s until the end of the Cold War (late 1980s) as a period of relative inactivity, and the following time until now as a “period of rediscovery post-cold war.” The report puts these missions into the areas of conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. The report also indicates that SPM over the two decades post-cold war grew significantly in number, size and the complexity of their mandates. Thus, as the SG’s report as of 2013 states itself, SPM and PKO followed a similar trajectory. The relevance for their interrelation, like seen in the graph from the 2008 Capstone Doctrine, becomes evident. This includes SPM development towards multidimensional mandates. Subsequently, the SG states that the SPM’s common reason of existence, preventing and resolving conflict, as well as helping Member States and parties to a conflict to build a sustainable peace is what defines these missions as “political”. It can be said that this does not establish a delineation to peacekeeping, taking into account the inherent political nature of those missions as well. It points towards the larger question of where contemporary SPM differentiate, at their political core, from contemporary PKO and points into the direction why the deployment of UNPOL, following a unified policy framework for their assistance, has become so relevant. One way or the other, the increased utilization of UNPOL in SPM testifies for the overall relevance of policing matters within UN efforts related to peace and security.

SPM exist in three main categories: special envoys; sanctions panels and monitoring groups; and field-based missions. The deployment of UNPOL into field-based SPM is a relatively young development, therefore, a narrative of SPM will only take this period into account. Contemporary SPM can serve (a) to promote reconciliation; (b) conducting mediation; (c) maintaining a sustained political dialogue; (d) provide electoral assistance and supporting efforts to prevent election-related violence; (e) coordinating donor assistance and mobilizing resources; (f) strengthening national capacities and supporting national priorities that are critical for a successful peacebuilding process, such as rule of law, security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and mine action. Whilst the role of UNPOL expertise is obvious within category (f), there are other categories in which the expertise of UNPOL plays out being an important factor as well.

The SG’s thematic report as of 2013 points to another emerging area relevant to UNPOL, which holds true both for SPM and for PKO: According to the report, the operating environment of SPM is often affected by the instability coming from the effects of transnational crime and drug trafficking. Some SPM have mandates related to address transnational organized crime. It holds true for contemporary PKO too, and is well recognized. This important aspect of current and future challenges for UNPOL will be addressed in a separate chapter, looking at drivers of conflict, and threats to missions and their mandate implementation from serious and organized crime, corruption, violent extremism, and terror. But it points already at this stage towards the increasing role, and relevance, of United Nations international policing; the need to generate appropriate resources; provide a coherent normative framework; address the nexus between countries affected by conflict and regional dimensions; and partnerships with other international stakeholders.

The majority of all field-based SPM are deployed into Africa.


The contemporary environment in which many SPM find themselves in is very similar, often the same, as is the reality for PKO. In his 2015 report⁠6 on special political missions, the SG does refer to the same source of examination of peace operations, the HIPPO-report. He also sets the stage by using a narrative that holds true for both mission types: “The international peace and security landscape has deteriorated rapidly. Following two decades of consistent decline, the number of active civil wars increased almost threefold between 2007 and 2014. Today, the number of battle-related deaths and major civil wars is back at the level at which it was in the mid-1990s. The number of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world has reached a peak of 60 million people, and global humanitarian needs for 2015 are close to a record-setting $20 billion.” The cutting edge development, taking most recent developments into account, indicates also a sharp increase in the worldwide effects of violent extremism and terror, and the interrelation of civil war and terror with an unprecedented surge in migration.

Current status

The Department of Political Affairs currently maintains twenty-three field missions with the status “Special Political Missions” SPM worldwide. According to the Department’s website⁠7, political missions are part of a continuum of UN peace operations working in different stages of the conflict cycle. In some instances, following the signing of peace agreements, political missions overseen by the Department of Political Affairs during the stage of peace negotiations have been replaced by peacekeeping missions. In other instances, UN peacekeeping operations have given way to special political missions overseeing longer term peace-building activities.

The data available on UN websites is, as far as UNPOL deployments into SPM is concerned, inconsistent, and only partly available. Current UNPOL deployment into SPM is not documented on the DPKO website. According to a factsheet⁠8 maintained by the Department of Political Affairs, currently 293 uniformed personnel are deployed into SPM. On this factsheet DPA documents police deployments into UNAMA (4), UNAMI (0), UNIOGBIS (12), MENUB (0), UNSMIL (2), and UNSOM (5). This data is outdated, stemming from 2014.

Whilst DPA’s definition of SPM includes, inter alia, Special Envoys, the SPM UNOAU, or the United Nations Office to the African Union, is not mentioned on the DPA factsheet documentation of SPM. Rather, it features on the list of political missions of the Department’s main website⁠9.

UNPOL deployment into SPM in some more conceptual detail

In order to understand the interrelationship between UNPOL aspects within PKO and SPM to the extend necessary on a strategic level, some more detail needs to be given to specific deployments, in alphabetical order of the Mission acronyms.


The United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic was mandated to (1) support the implementation of a transitional process in the CAR; (2) support conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance; (3) support the extension of CAR State authority; (4) support the stabilization of the CAR security situation; (5) promote and protect human rights. As of April 10, 2014, BINUCA was subsumed in the UN PKO MINUSCA, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic. The reason for this sat with the significantly deteriorating situation in the CAR throughout 2012 and 2013, leading to atrocities against the civilian population on a large scale, and fears of an imminent genocide. During the existence of the SPM BINUCA, the International Communities’ engagement included the establishment of an AU peace support operation MISCA, the bilateral military engagement of the French government, through the Operation SANGARIS, and the EU military crisis management operation EUFOR CAR. This paved the way for the United Nations decision to create MINUSCA, and to subsume the activities of BINUCA through MINUSCA. Thus, BINUCA did not only provide the political platform of engagement of the UN’s conflict prevention diplomacy, but at later stages was also used as the political and operational platform to deploy a large PKO including military, police, civilian, and political engagement in the CAR through peacekeeping. MINUSCA emerged from BINUCA, but at the same time had to re-hat the military and police capacities and capabilities of the AU’s MISCA. 


The United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi started it’s operations on January 01, 2015, closing at the end of the same year, according to public UN documentation⁠11.


Since October 2002 until today, UNAMA is including a small UNPOL contingent. UNAMA is a Special Political Mission providing political good offices in Afghanistan, working with and supporting the government, supporting the process of peace and reconciliation, monitoring and promoting human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict, promoting good governance, and encouraging regional cooperation.

In its long-standing contribution to UNAMA, UNPOL has witnessed the early stages of the International Communities’ large, and very diversified response to support to establishing Afghan institutions in the field of the police. Both the international engagement and the development of the ANP and other security actors have been extremely complex. Afghanistan has seen large scale capacity building efforts for policing embedded into the US-led military fighting coalition, and into NATO efforts of civilian capacity building within a large military fighting force which partly co-existed, and later followed on to US-led coalition efforts. Bilateral efforts through States contributing to the implementation of the so-called “Petersberg Agreement” were following a concept of “lead-nations” responsible for the coordination of efforts in the field of security and justice. Reality saw challenges in relation to coordination, bilateralism included. In addition to this, the European Union established a police mission in the context of the EU’s civilian crisis management, EUPOL Afghanistan. This Mission began 2006 and is still ongoing.


The DPKO website data is documenting UNPOL deployment into the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq between August 2012 and April 2015, with a maximum of four police officers, including a Senior Police Adviser. The operating political environment, and especially the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, led to ceasing the deployment of UNPOL in 2015.


The engagement of the UN through field-based activities of DPA in Guinea-Bissau is long-standing. The United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau UNOGBIS began its work in 1999. In 2009, it was succeeded by the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau, UNIOGBIS. This SPM has a multidimensional mandate, inter alia rendering police capacity building assistance, including in the field of serious and organized crime. Due to the specific country situation and political, military, and crime-related history, UNIOGBIS’ activities  in relation to policing have multiple links with other UN Missions. UNIOGBIS closely works in partnership with PKO such as UNMIL, UNOCI, or previously with UNIPSIL and participates in activities that combine the different strengths of DPKO, DPA, UNODC, Interpol, and others.

The case of UNIOGBIS demonstrates the expansion of multidimensional UN mandates, requiring a very high degree of police expertise; the need, and emerging reality, of mission-based activities embedded into regional inter-mission cooperation and collaboration with a multiplicity of different actors; and the increasing and important role of UNPOL to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.


The United Nations Support Mission for Libya is a SPM established in 2011. It is mandated to manage the process of democratic transition; to promote the rule of law and protect human rights; to restore public security, including through provision of appropriate strategic and technical advice and assistance to the Libyan government; to counter illicit proliferation of arms, and to coordinate international assistance.

For the purpose of this documentation, the highly complex situation in Libya, following the ending of 42 years under Qadhafi’s regime including through a coalition based military intervention, and the first free elections replacing the National Transitional Council, can not be described. Like in the above cases, both the specific situation in the country emerging from conflict, and the assistance by the International Community at large, bear similarities and carry country- and situation-specific differences. UNPOL, within UNSMIL’s mandate, contributed to rendering advice how to contribute to synergy and complementarity of action.

It was the deterioration of the political and security situation in Libya beginning in 2013 which led to both a relocation of large parts of UNSMIL, including the police component, outside the country itself, and to strategic adjustments which took the evolving situation into account. Due to the developments in the Region, the political process is fluid and, currently, fragile at best.


The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established in 2013, providing the United Nations “good offices” functions and a range of strategic policy advice in support of the Federal Government’s peace and reconciliation process. This SPM coexists with the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM, a logistical field operation to the African Union Mission in Somalia. The AU deploys AMISOM, a multidimensional Peace Support Operation. AMISOM includes a strong military fighting force, in order to reduce the threat posed by Al Shabaab and other armed opposition groups⁠12, and conducting a range of mandated tasks including assisting the Federal Government of Somalia in establishing conditions for effective and legitimate governance across Somalia. For this, AMISOM is also including an AU police component.

The United Nations UNPOL component within UNSOM is part of a larger unit which is strategically addressing the needs of Somalia within the field of security and the rule of law. The police components within UNSOM and AMISOM, on basis of a jointly defined understanding, cooperate closely, and in collaboration with Somali counterparts and consultation with the larger International Community.

The case of collaboration and attempting to deploy coherent assistance, between UNSOM and AMISOM, or the UN and the AU in Somalia, stands positively out. Whilst it is too early to gauge results, in a demanding, often deteriorating, very dangerous security environment, it is clearly an important step into the right direction.

Conclusions on SPM, and UNPOL

Simply looking at the reference made above to the structure of peace operations as mapped out in the Capstone Doctrine, and the mirroring statements within the SG’s reports on SPM since 2013, the requirement for an overarching conceptual framework policy on what UN international policing should bring to the table is becoming clear. The documentation of previous and current UNPOL activities, and the inter-relationship of UNPOL work in SPM with the respective work in PKO, adds. The conceptual clarity is maintained by the developing Strategic Guidance Framework, which is an extensive and labor intense work of the Police Division within DPKO, collaborating in the further development, amongst other, with DPA. It will be subject to a later chapter.


1 HIPPO Report, executive summary, pg viii

2 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Principles and Guidelines, DPKO/DFS 2008; http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/capstone_eng.pdf

3 Capstone Doctrine, pg. 19

4 Such as, for example, the PKO MONUSCO and the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region

5 Report of the SG on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/N1341359.pdf

Last access January 18, 2016

6 2015.09.30 Report of the SG on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/70/400

7 http://www.un.org/undpa/in-the-field/overview

Access January 17, 2016

A factsheet is available under http://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/undpa/shared/undpa/pdf/ppbm.pdf

8 http://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/undpa/shared/undpa/pdf/ppbm.pdf

9 http://www.un.org/undpa/in-the-field/overview

10 https://menub.unmissions.org/en/about

11 http://amisom-au.org/amisom-mandate/

Peacekeeping and United Nations Police

This is a long one, and it’s technical, just so that you know. This one is on what we in the United Nations call “peacekeeping”. We do much more, and if you continue to read future blog entries, you will see that. But we, United Nations Police, or UNPOL, we have our roots in peacekeeping, so a narrative of where we come from, in order to understand where we should go, it comes from here. You will, if you bear with me, see step by step the unfolding picture of the nexus of conflict prevention, conflict intervention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and why I believe there is an important role for our policing work in all of it, and what needs to be done to get better with it.

Which, by the way, is not what I say. We all say it, and our voices get heard more. So here you go. There are other versions of these articles, for an internal audience, with internal conclusions. This is the version for the external audience, based on what everyone can research for oneself. Conclusions are mostly general, so that I can say that here, without mixing up a private post and an official function which I hold.

After this one, I will publish a piece on what we call Special Political Missions. Then, in the following instalment, I will go beyond, leading to the larger question of why international policing needs to be considered an important element in the struggle of the World finding answers for our most pressing problems, stemming from crime, violent extremism, terror, and corruption, and their interrelation with maddening conflict, leading to people desperately wanting to escape from it, to the safe harbors of States who get overwhelmed by this migration, struggling for finding answers.

Meanwhile, I will also work on unrelated, or partly related blog articles.

General aspects of conflict and mandates for PKO

The development of peacekeeping operations is often broadly categorized into the early years, a post cold-war surge, and an ongoing and rapidly evolving contemporary, increasingly complex situation⁠1. The role of international policing in UN peace operations has grown over time, in numbers, complexity, and forms of deployment. International policing in UN peace operations begins, but does not end with, peacekeeping operations, though peacekeeping forms the largest base, in terms of numbers of operations, and numbers of UN police (UNPOL) deployed.

Since 1948, the United Nations is looking back on sixty-nine peacekeeping operations (PKO), of which sixteen operations are currently ongoing⁠2. Overall, until today the UN deployed PKO into forty-nine different countries, and twenty-three of these countries were subject to more than one PKO. The Security Council mandated thirty-nine of these sixty-nine operations to include police capacities. Twelve of the current sixteen operations include police components. In terms of duration of currently ongoing PKO, two were founded before 1950, one dates back to mid of the sixties, and two originate from the 70’s. Two ongoing operations stem from the time between 1990 and 1999. Ten currently ongoing peacekeeping operations are, therefore, less than fifteen years old.

The UN undertook a first peace operation in 1948, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations. Over many years to come, a gradual development of mandates of such operations would lead from the deployment of unarmed military observers towards the use of armed military peacekeepers, beginning with the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I) in 1956⁠3. UN peacekeeping would see the first deployment of police peacekeepers, alongside military colleagues, in 1960 with the establishment of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC). However, the post cold-war decade can be seen as the decisive turning point from when on mandates of UN PKO grew more and more complex, towards what nowadays is known as “multidimensional mandates” of peacekeeping operations.

The Security Council mandated two PKO between 1948 and 1949, two PKO between 1950 and 1959, six PKO between 1960 and 1969, three PKO between 1970 and 1979, five PKO between 1980 and 1989, thirty-five PKO between 1990 and 1999, ten PKO between 2000 and 2009, and six PKO between 2010 and 2015. The surge within the nineties reflects the World’s struggle to find a new order after the end of the cold war.

New peacekeeping operations of the post cold-war era found themselves confronted with ongoing, or emerging intra-state conflict, the breaking of Nations, with assistance throughout and after the forming and recognition of a new State, or a continued presence in case of disputed situations. In some cases, in presence of ongoing PKO, conflict culminated in atrocities against civilian populations, and genocide: The United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) was deployed in 1993. It was meant to assist in the implementation of an accord aiming at ending a civil war. In 1994, the mission found itself confronted with a collapse of the peace agreement, and with a genocide leading to atrocities on an unimaginable scale: Within 100 days, an estimated 800.000 to 1.000.000 minority Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed⁠4. The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was deployed in 1992 in Croatia and Bosnia & Hercegovina during the conflict that would ultimately lead to the breaking up of Yugoslavia. In July 1995, forces under the command of General Ratko Mladić killed more than 8.000 Bosniaks in and around the enclaves of Srebrenica and Žepa⁠5. Both situations in Rwanda and Bosnia&Herzegovina were ruled as genocide. They confronted the United Nations with painful questions of how to protect civilians affected by conflict. The experience has profoundly impacted on the conscience of the United Nations. Twenty-five years of discussion are still ongoing and include political and aspects of international law⁠6 and they impact policy decisions until then, including in actual situations⁠7.

The continuation of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia through the Kosovo conflict in 1998 and the violence in Timor-Leste after the referendum in 1999 led to the deployment of peacekeeping operations including the Security Council mandating the UN to carry out transitional authority. Peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and in Timor-Leste were based on mandates with extensive executive powers, including a full executive policing authority vested into United Nations police peacekeepers. Whilst the following decade saw no repetition of such comprehensive powers vested into a peacekeeping operation, a partial renewed reoccurrence can be witnessed with the inclusion of so-called “Urgent Temporary Measures” into the mandate of MINUSCA in the Central African Republic, 2014.

More generally, the continuation of the development post cold-war led to the increasing use of peacekeeping operations to deal with restoring a State’s ability to maintain security and public order, building political and legal institutions in disrupted States, and promoting a culture of law, democracy, and social economic recovery. Consequently, peacekeeping operations now bring together international military, police, and civilian personnel, all of which are jointly engaging in ‘multidimensional peace operations⁠8’. In an increasing number of cases, intra-state conflict continued to include atrocities against the civilian population on a very large scale, requiring from peacekeepers to both contribute to the protection of the civilian population to the best of their abilities, and to begin the arduous long-term task of assistance to restoration and development of legitimate and capable State authority. At times backlashes would occur under the eyes of the UN, such as, for example, in Kosovo in 2004, in Timor Leste in 2006, or in South Sudan at the end of 2013, leading to renewed or reinforced commitment including of police components.

Twelve out of sixteen PKO which were established between 2000 and 2015 can be characterized as multidimensional operations, including police components. In addition, two of the remaining four PKO include policing aspects: In September 2005 the Security Council, in consultation with the authorities of Chad and the CAR, authorized the deployment of a UN civilian and police operation, MINURCAT, and a European Union military force (EUFOR), in order to contribute to the protection of civilians⁠9. With the Security Council mandating UNISFA⁠10 to monitor and verify the redeployment of any Sudan Armed Forces, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM) or its successor from the Abyei area, provision was also made for the anticipated establishment of the Abyei Police Service, leading to a small deployment of UNPOL.

In relation to conflicts leading to a multidimensional engagement of UN peacekeeping, the case of the situation in Mali in 2013 stands out: The conflict situation in Mali included a clearly identifiable intra-state conflict including an armed confrontation including Tuareg rebels and a military coup, but also the activities of regional terrorist groups affiliated to Al Qaeda, attempting to destabilize, and ultimately to overthrow, legitimate governance in Northern Mali. Likewise, the situation in Mali can be identified as the first situation in which the United Nations now recognizes the influence of transnational organized crime affecting the implementation of the mandate of a peacekeeping operation, together with violent extremism, terrorism, and corruption.

Geographic deployment of PKO

The Security Council mandated UN Peacekeeping Operations for situations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central&South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Whilst there are little noteworthy patterns for the time between 1948 and 1989, and the overall numbers of peacekeeping operations per decade remained comparatively low, the development for the post cold-war period, leading into contemporary development, is significant: Since the last decade of the 20th century, until today, the vast majority of PKO has been mandated in Africa⁠11. The breakup of the the former Yugoslavia in the nineties is the main responsible factor for an exceptional number of PKO mandated in Europe⁠12 during the last decade of the 20th century. Aside of Africa, only Asia and the Caribbean saw three new PKO between 2000 and 2009. Since 2010, until today, the Security Council has exclusively established PKO in Africa⁠13. Nine out of sixteen currently ongoing PKO operate in Africa. Three ongoing PKO operating in the Middle East belong to the group of the most long lasting PKO⁠14. Two ongoing PKO in Europe are older than 15 years⁠15. Likewise, the only existing active PKO in Asia looks back at 67 years of existence⁠16. All current newer development, except one PKO in the Caribbean⁠17, relates to Africa. The ongoing nine PKO in Africa are between two and 25 years of age.

Peacekeeping operations and United Nations Police

The evolution of conflict situations the Security Council had to grapple with, and the gradual development of mandates through which peace operations were mandated to address them, had a direct impact on the deployment of police officers into UN peace operations. Historical data from the early decades is sparse, compared to the period between 2000 and 2015, but the numbers of police officers deployed into peacekeeping operations between 1960 and the end of the Cold War were very low. Peacekeepers were military staff, either unarmed observers, or lightly armed soldiers. For very specific reasons, sometimes police officers were added. Until mid 1992, the overall numbers on average amounted to less than hundred⁠18.

Available data from 1992 onwards begins with almost 3.700 police officers deployed, peaking 1993 around 4.500, and showing variations between 1.500 and 3.500 police officers until the end of that decade: The time between 1989 and 1999 can be identified as the first phase of an increased use of policing capacities within the handling of post-conflict situations by the United Nations, beginning with a large police contingent in UNTAG, for the situation in Namibia, in 1989. Within the following decade, the Security Council mandated twenty-one new PKO (roughly two-third of all new PKO during that time) to also deploy police contingents, then known as Civilian Police, going by the acronym CivPol. Counting UNTAG from 1989 as well, these PKO were deployed into States struggling with conflict, and into various phases and regional areas of the disintegrating former Yugoslavia, from where new States and the still unsolved status question of Kosovo emerged. Counting the latter as one geographic area with the same underlying conflict, therefore these twenty-one PKO addressed conflicts in thirteen States/disintegrating States. Six affected States are located in Africa, including UNTAG in Namibia with the first ever very considerable police deployment⁠19. The last decade of the outgoing 20th century witnessed a three years authorized deployment of up to 3.500 police in Cambodia, whilst this decade saw the beginning of the considerable sequence of PKO addressing instability in Haiti, the disintegrating Yugoslavia, and East Timor, today known as Timor Leste. It were these big-hitters where tasks of restoration of State authority, including transitional UN governments, required large police contingents.

Therefore, the steep rise to almost 8000 police officers from mid 2000 on stems from PKO with large scale deployments of police into the situations in  Bosnia&Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Timor Leste. The transition from United Nations peacekeeping to European Union crisis management in Bosnia&Herzegovina in 2002 and the downsizing of UNPOL contingents in Kosovo and Timor Leste after building up domestic policing capacity led to a decrease to around 4000 police officers in PKO around mid 2003. At this low-point, the numerical majority of UNPOL in PKO was deployed to Kosovo.

From 2004 on, numbers are rising steadily until end of 2008, at which time the UNPOL deployment into Kosovo becomes residual. Responsible for this increase is a fundamental shift towards UNPOL deployments into situations in Africa: The emerging deployments to Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Sudan (through two separate PKO, UNMIS and UNAMID) add to renewed commitments to Timor Leste after unrest in 2006, and a continued deployment to Haiti. The decrease in overall deployment of UNPOL to PKO between late 2008 and early 2009 is solely attributable to the hand-over of policing activities from UNMIK in Kosovo to the European Union, as was the case as well at the end of 2002 with the hand-over of such activities in Bosnia&Herzegovina.

From early 2009 on until summer 2012, UNPOL sees an increase in actual deployed officers from less than 10.000 to 14.500, more or less uninterrupted. The continued commitment to Timor Leste and a significant increase in Haiti in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake in January 2010 add to more or less continuous deployments to Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia. The UN took, together with the AU, responsibility for peacekeeping in Darfur, Sudan, by establishing the so-called hybrid mission UNAMID, jointly led by the UN and the AU. Taking over from a previous AU peace operation AMIS, which included considerable police capacities, UNAMID became the PKO with the largest police component ever so far, peaking beyond 5.500 police. With the emergence of the new country South Sudan in 2011, separating from Sudan, a commitment to UNMIS was seamlessly followed up through the establishment of two new PKO, UNMISS in South-Sudan and UNISFA for the demilitarized area of Abyei.

At the end of 2012, the termination of peacekeeping in Timor Leste and adjustments in Haiti were the main reason for a small decrease in deployed numbers. Since 2013, the deployment numbers are on the rise again, currently culminating in 14.000 police officers towards the end of 2015. Despite adjustments in ongoing PKO, due to progress, but also significant political pressure to redistribute, rather than requesting for the deployment of more police, this increase is attributable to the emergence of a civil war in South Sudan in December 2013,  and the establishment of new PKO in Mali (2013) and the Central African Republic (2014).


Major external factors affecting UN peacekeeping, and especially the deployment of UNPOL

The UN categorizes development of peacekeeping into the early years, a post cold-war surge, and an ongoing and rapidly evolving contemporary⁠21, increasingly complex situation⁠22. As shown above, the period after the end of the cold war has led to major developments for, and within, PKO between 1989 and 1999 which include the visible immediate consequences that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Towards the end of the past millennium, and at the dawn of the new millennium, three developments influencing policing in peacekeeping and peace operations at large stand out. They are formative, both affecting contemporary conflict and the International Communities’ response to it. In sum these developments are: (1) The emergence of the European Union’s Crisis Management within it’s Common Foreign and Security Policy CFSP; (2) The impact of the post 9/11 situation; (3) The emergence of peace support operations of the African Union.

(a) The emergence of the European Union’s Crisis Management

The Cologne European Council June 1999 included a declaration on strengthening the EU’s ability to act externally, paving the way into the Union’s Common Policy on  Security and Defence⁠23 CSDP. The members of the European Council declared that they want to develop “an effective EU-led crisis management”. This is the beginning of setting the European Security and Defence Policy ESDP into motion, a part of the larger CSDP. It quickly led to the establishment of capacities and capabilities for aspects of civilian crisis management, including policing. Subsequently, the European Union established its first ever crisis management operation under this policy, the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia&Hercegovina EUPM. EUPM followed seamlessly on to UNMIBH, re-hatting United Nations police. EUPM lasted from end 2002 to mid 2012. A deployment of international police into peace operations, therefore, began in Bosnia&Hercegovina immediately after the Dayton Peace Agreement and lasted for seventeen years. Likewise, a few years later the European Union began its preparation to take over from UNMIK in Kosovo. In 2008, the EU civilian crisis management mission EUJUST LEX followed on to the work of UNMIK within the field of security and the rule of law, leading to a continuation of the deployment of international police officers in significant numbers, lasting until today. In the case of Kosovo therefore, an ongoing line of sixteen years of deployment of international police into a peace operation has been formed. This fits into the picture as can be seen in UN PKO and will later be demonstrated as week in the case of the African Union: The contemporary duration of intense deployment of policing capacity through peace operations bridges at least a decade, and more. The deployment of police capacity itself, however, frequently witnesses a mix of different peace operations, involving various actors aside the UN.

The European Union development from 1999 until today includes a large variety of missions of different types many of which, at least on the civilian side, have led to smaller and more specialized deployment of police contingents or police missions, with specialized mandates reflecting the interest of the EU abroad. Aside of the two above cases of taking over responsibility from UNPOL, these past and ongoing missions do in significant numbers deploy into the same theaters of operation in which UNPOL is contributing to the task of  protecting civilians, and building host State capacity. In one case, a small specialized EU police contingent was directly given to the African Union Mission AMIS, assisting the African Union Mission in Sudan in policing aspects in Darfur, before the UN/AU hybrid operation UNAMID took over from AMIS at the beginning of 2008. In all cases where parallel engagements including policing happens, synchronization on operational, strategic, and policy level on headquarters and field level have a direct impact on successful implementation of either mandate⁠24. Deployment figures of EU policing are not as readily available as they are for the UN.

(b) The impact of the post 9/11 situation

Following the terror attack of September 11, 2001, global change affected peacekeeping operations. Related to effects on the UN’s ability to deploy UNPOL into UN peacekeeping, and the overall activities of UN Member States and Regional Organizations to utilizing national police assets within their own conduct of peace operations, two country situations stand out: Iraq and Afghanistan.

Coalitions of States, all of them UN Member States, and many of them Member States of the EU and of NATO, contributed significant police contingents into multilateral or bilateral efforts of crisis stabilization and post-crisis development of domestic capacities. The financial, staff, and development aid efforts for both country situations are huge. Detailed overviews do, unfortunately, not exist. However, it is fair to establish the hypothesis that UN Member States including those which form today’s EU, as well as the United States of America and Canada continued to uphold a significant contribution of police to overseas operations throughout the following decade. These operations include multilateral coalitions beginning with military campaigns which later broadened into multilateral peace support operations, NATO peace support operations, and EU crisis management operations. Multilateral coalitions used a large diversity of conceptual approaches how to utilize police capacities. However, the necessary police capacities were not added to the contribution into UN PKO. Rather, a realignment of limited resources to shifting national priorities led to a decrease of their contribution to UN PKO.

(c) The emergence of peace support operations of the African Union

With the establishment of the African Union AU in 2001 and its launch in 2002, UN Member States in Africa formed a continental political body including the intent to promote peace and security in Africa. It led to the AU conducting own peace support operations PSO, including the utilization of police capacities and capabilities. Amongst other operations, and relevant for this analysis only, the AU has conducted a PSO in Sudan, Darfur Region (AMIS), in Mali (AFISMA), the Central African Republic (MISCA), and is conducting a PSO in Somalia (AMISOM), all of which include police. Currently, the AU is preparing for the deployment of a peace support operation to Burundi (MAPROBU). All AU PSO have included police components, and all have been followed on by UN peacekeeping operations: AMIS has handed over its operations in Sudan’s Darfur region to a UN peacekeeping operation jointly conducted by UN and AU, the first and, so far, only hybrid mission. AFISMA in Mali was succeeded by MINUSMA, and MISCA in the Central African Republic was succeeded by MINUSCA. All these cases have led to the re-hatting of military and police contingents. De facto all these contingents were far away from any UN minimum standard, in terms of training, equipment, command and control, and the relationship between field operations and strategic headquarters. Politicial needs and the dire situation of civilians horribly affected by violence and terror simply dictated a pragmatic approach, leading to extraordinary challenges, including within the police contingents, by the UN, regional organisations such as the EU, and bilateral commitments, in order to bring these contingents up to minimum standards. The operational challenges of the hybrid mission in Darfur add. Instruments formed by political and security mechanisms of the AU co-exist with mechanisms of the UN, and the EU, in the same countries, posing another set of challenges to effective assistance. From a peacekeeping perspective, two country situations stand out at this moment: Somalia and Burundi: (1) The AU PSO AMISOM in Somalia is the largest AU operation on the continent, including a fighting force combatting the terror of Al Shabab, and including a relatively small police contingent with operational and capacity building tasks. The UN on the other side is engaging in Somalia with the Special Political Mission UNSOM, including a small but capable rule of law and security element, including UNPOL. Recently, the collaboration between police in UNSOM and AMISOM has been systematically strengthened, following a UN initiative. This included specialized deployment of the UN Police Division’s Standing Police Capacity SPC. A joint political benchmarking process regularly revisits the question whether the AU mission could, and should, be followed on by a UN PKO. (2) In December 2015, the UN Security Council authorized the AU to deploy a prevention force into the deteriorating situation in Burundi. This deployment has not happened yet and is, at the time of this writing, being met by strong political resistance from Burundi itself. Taking this into account, the UN has been requested to carry out contingency planning for worst-case scenarios, including own operational deployments. Aside of the already complicated process of support for AU PSO and hand-over from these operations, this presents the UN, including police planning and operations, with new scenarios including for forceful preventative entry.

The impact of these factors on UNPOL in PKO

Complex political, policy, and operational cooperation between UN, AU, and EU with relevance to UNPOL will be discussed later. In terms of impact on peacekeeping, and policing deployment into PKO, the deployment of UNPOL into PKO underwent a fundamental change: In addition to the Security Council continuing, and increasing, to focus PKO on conflict in Africa, the composition of major Police Contributing Countries to UN PKO in these operations dramatically changed: (1) The decrease in overall deployment of UNPOL into PKO to a low point end of 2003 includes a first downsizing in Timor Leste, but also a re-hatting of UNPOL into police in EU crisis management in Bosnia&Herzegovina. (2) The decrease of contribution of EU Member States, but also the USA, beyond the end of UN peacekeeping is further rooted in steady downsizing and, finally, the same transfer of responsibility to the EU in Kosovo, 2008. (3) The commitment to bi- and multilateral engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan consumed police capacities, financial, and development commitment on the side of States who added this to their much larger costly military engagement. As a result, the contribution from these PCC to UNPOL went down to a minimum in numbers. As the overall deployment of UNPOL nearly doubled since 2000, the share of these PCC has become marginal. Despite some discussion as to whether the ending engagement in Afghanistan could lead to a renewed commitment to UN PKO, this trend has not stopped. (4) A similar trend is visible for PCC from Central& South America, however for none of the reasons above. (5) Subsequently, today’s majority of UNPOL come from PCC in the Middle East (with Jordan being the only major PCC in this group), Asia, and Africa. (6) A trend is visible with a reduced contribution from Asian PCC. Partly this might be a consequence of national policy decisions, including, but not only, contemporary struggle with violent extremism and terror at home. Equally, the promotion of the value of African ownership in Africa plays a role. Finally, the increased demand of francophone capacities in Africa affects the Asian supply side. (7) Many of the reasons above logically contribute to the fact that PCC from Africa continue to increase their share, beyond the fact that they constitute today’s majority. African PCC were a minority in 2000, with main contributors coming from Europe, North America, and Asia. African PCC are the only constituency with uninterrupted growth in terms of UNPOL deployment since 2003. With a growing role of AU peace support operations, and no end in sight for the trend of ever more PKO on the African continent, this poses a prime challenge to the UN system, requiring consolidated efforts of All. The support to policing in PSO, through assistance to the AU headquarters, and to AU missions on the ground, but also the interrelationship between AU and UN missions will increase, and needs to: UN and AU draw policing capacities from the same Police Contributing Countries PCC in Africa, who are limited in their capacities and capabilities, whilst there is no alternative to policing contribution within peace operations on either side.

Chapter conclusions:

Opposed to UN figures as used earlier, the accuracy of data provided publicly by other organizations and especially in relation to bilateral and multilateral coalition engagement is much less, partly not in existence at all. The relevance of the development of own crisis management capacities of the EU and the AU will become clear in other chapters as well, but already at this point the diversity of engagement, different policies, different training and equipment approaches, and the constraints stemming from the fact that all three organizations and bi- and multilateral operations request contributions from domestic police organizations all around the World, becomes clear. Beyond, the question of impact of engagement depends on cooperation, coordination, and use of synergies of a multiplicity of engaged actors. Significant difficulties here, and their impact on UN police in PKO, will be addressed later. Taking the average duration of post-crisis assistance into account, and the risks stemming from relapse into conflict in case of less successful assistance, pressing needs to engage better with costly resources meant for domestic purposes become very clear. This requires adequate capacity and capabilities in Headquarters, and in Missions.

Looking back at this development, the diversity of engagement will continue, and, at least from a UN perspective, likely increase. This issue will come back when analyzing the development of UNPOL engagement in Special Political Missions of the UN Department of Political Affairs, and in relation to the Global Focal Point GFP, and is relevant for the cooperation with other actors contributing to contemporary challenges, such as the impact of violent extremism, terror, and transnational crime, and corruption.

A harmonization of policy, strategy, and operational engagement of policing in peace operations is essential for long term impact on conflict situations. The UN Strategic Guidance Framework for international policing, it’s further development, and broad international acceptance, within and beyond the UN is key for this.


1 See, for example, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/history.shtml

Last access Dec 10, 2015

2 United Nations, list of peacekeeping operations,

Click to access operationslist.pdf

Last access Dec 08, 2015

3 Peacekeeping Operations – The Early Years; http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/early.shtml;

Last access Dec 07, 2015

4 For detailed reading: Lt.Gen (ret.) Roméo Dallaire, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, Random House Canada, 2003, ISBN 978-0-679-31171-3

5 For detailed reading: Hasan Nuhanovic; Under The UN Flag: The International Community and the Srebrenica Genocide, DES 2007, ISBN: 978-9958-728-87-7

6 For detailed reading on the “Responsibility to Protect”: Gareth Evans; The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0815703341

7 For example: Decisions undertaken by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) after the breaking out of a civil war, Dec 15, 2013, or discussions leading to the establishment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), as a consequence of a resumption of violence by the mainly Muslim Séléka and the subsequent taking up arms by the mainly Christian anti-Balaka. Likewise, the inability of the Security Council to come to resolutions on cases such as the current one in Syria can be directly connected to a fundamental political dispute between Member States of the United Nations on whether a Responsibility to Protect (R2P) supersedes a principle of international law, territorial or Westphalian sovereignty.

8 Bruce Oswald, Helen Durham, Adrian Bates, Documents on the Law of UN Peace Operations, Oxford University Press New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-19-957126-0, pg 3

9 http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/minurcat/background.shtml

10 http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unisfa/mandate.shtml

11 Fifteen between 1990 and 1999, seven between 2000 and 2009, and six since 2010 until today.

12 Nine PKO between 1990 and 1999

13 Six new PKO

14 67, 42 and 38 years of duration

15 UNFICYP in Cyprus: 52 years; UNMIK in Kosovo: 17 years.

16 UNMOGIP in India and Pakistan

17 MINUSTAH in Haiti, twelve years

18 Scattered data can be found under http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/statistics/contributors_archive.shtml. Figures are documented from the end of 1990 on.

19 1.500 police officers

20 Data publicly available on the UN Website. The author compiled all data for the purpose of this visualization. The data reflects the real deployments, on a monthly registration basis. Small deployments are not visible, but included.

21 For example: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/history.shtml

22 See, for example, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/history.shtml

Last access Dec 10, 2015

23 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/kol2_en.htm, and more specifically http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/kol2_en.htm#an3

24 For an actual overview about all peace operations, including UN, EU, and AU, the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) offers a highly visualized overview on a World map: http://www.zif-berlin.org/fileadmin/uploads/analyse/dokumente/veroeffentlichungen/ZIF_World_Map_Peace_Operations.pdf

25 Download link: http://www.zif-berlin.org/fileadmin/uploads/analyse/dokumente/veroeffentlichungen/ZIF_World_Map_Peace_Operations.pdf

Setting the Stage

At times with rising and ever more complicated conflicts threatening global peace and security, we look for renewed commitment to United Nations peace operations, and we collectively search for new approaches. This series of articles will focus on United Nations policing within peace operations. It will take stock of long-term development, outline more recent achievements, and argue that a fresh look needs to be undertaken, allowing policing to punch it’s weight: UN policing plays an important role within the United Nation’s efforts preventing conflicts, engaging in conflicts, and the Organizations efforts to promote sustainable peace and security through peace building: To protect civilians and to assist in building domestic capacity in the field of security and the rule of law are two interrelated core functions of UN peace operations. Policing needs to be strengthened in both, and beyond, in conflict prevention and peace building.

June 16, 2015, a High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, commissioned by the United Nations Secretary General, presented it’s findings⁠1. The report is now commonly referred to as the HIPPO-Report. About two weeks later, June 29, 2015, an Advisory Group of Experts presented their review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture: “The Challenge of Sustaining Peace⁠2”. This report has become known as the AGE-Report.

On 2nd of September, UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon presented⁠3 the HIPPO-Report to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN Security Council (UNSC). In Paragraph 2, Ban Ki-moon writes:

To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The opening words of the Charter capture the purpose of the UN. Seventy years later, that objective has never appeared as urgent or as challenging. Since 2008 the number of major violent conflicts has almost tripled. Long-simmering disputes have escalated or relapsed into wars, while new conflicts have emerged in countries and regions once considered stable. Labels assigned to conflict – internal, inter-state, regional, ethnic or sectarian – have become increasingly irrelevant, as transnational forces of violent extremism and organized crime build on and abet local rivalries. Environmental degradation and resource deprivation are not contained by borders. Exclusion at home is driving tension abroad. People displaced by war approach 60 million and global humanitarian needs for 2015 are close to $20 billion.

Fifteen years earlier, a Panel on United Nations Peace Operations issued the “Brahimi-Report⁠4”. The HIPPO-Report can be seen as the first comprehensive follow-up. In it’s introductory parts, the HIPPO-Report notes that “United Nations peace operations are a unique instrument for advancing international peace and security.” Peacekeeping Operations have a history that began in 1948. Seventy years later, they have evolved in type and complexity. Peace operations include peacekeeping operations, special political missions, good offices, and mediation services. The HIPPO-Report notes the current deployment of more than 128,000 civilian and uniformed personnel in 39 missions across four continents. Looking back at the Brahimi-Report, the HIPPO-Report acknowledges the significant strengthening efforts and efforts to ensure that peace operations adapt to new roles.

As Ban Ki-moon notes, “violent crises are drawing unprecedented levels of international engagement”, leading to the engagement of the UN in peace operations, but also crisis management operations undertaken by the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU). Proliferation of conflict is outpacing our efforts, millions of people continue to live in fear and misery, and failure to prevent or halt war is dominating public consciousness. The UN Secretary General goes on to say: “Too often, however, efforts have been fragmented and unequal to the task. The limits of our engagement are reflected in UN peace operations, the most visible face of the Organization. Over six decades they have shown a remarkable capacity to adjust to evolving situations and new demands, guided by well-established principles. But missions are struggling to cope with the spread and intensity of conflicts today, and lack of unity among Member States over their scope and application is thwarting their adaptation. Within peace operations, shameful actions of some individuals are tarnishing efforts of tens of thousands.

Consequently, the UNSG calls on tackling these profound challenges. In doing so, he does not only assess the HIPPO-Report as being a solid foundation for this, but simultaneously points to the AGE-Report and more, including the Global Study on the implementation of Resolution 1325, which examines progress in placing women at the centre of the UN peace and security agenda⁠5, with a High-Level Review in October 2015.

On initiative of the President of the United States of America, a Peacekeeping Summit of World Leaders took place on occasion of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. In his speech⁠6 on September 28, 2015, Ban Ki-moon recalls that “the situations into which peacekeepers are deployed have never been more challenging, as tasks multiply and we face extremists, criminal groups and others who show no regard for international humanitarian or human rights law.” He recalls that more than 120 countries currently contribute over 125,000 troops, police and civilian personnel. Amongst five most pressing needs, the call for more qualified police personnel, including more female police officers, and Formed Police Units, as well as experts in the justice and corrections sectors, features prominently.

Likewise President Obama⁠7: “…today, I’m issuing new presidential guidance — the first in more than 20 years — to expand our support for U.N. peace operations.” He points to the need to reform and modernize peace operations, making them fit for purpose in contemporary complex environments, appreciating the commitment of more than 50 countries to do more, including contributing troops and police. The White House Memorandum on United States support for United Nations peace operations⁠8 itself is even more specific and detailed in the U.S. Administrations’ support for policing in UN peace operations, and it stands as an example for an increased commitment that was subsequently demonstrated in speeches by Heads of States, or their representatives, over more than four hours of pledging.

To date⁠9, PCC contribute 13.940 police officers to United Nations Police (UNPOL). Broadly speaking, 4.653 officers are deployed as Individual Police Officers, and 9.287 officers are deployed into Formed Police Units. Taking stock on the police side, the 2nd Peacekeeping Summit led to significant new pledges of UN Member States. Finally, all the above is accompanied by a wider and complex set of efforts of the United Nations to modernize peace operations.

Quo vadis, United Nations policing? The extrapolation of the future can never be attempted without a thorough look into the development itself, in this case the development of policing in UN peace operations. A look back will map the history, and will become more detailed for the past decade, or possibly fifteen years. Whilst the focus is on UN policing, within UN peace operations, the narrative for the beginning 21st century has, to some extent, to look at aspects of coherence and cooperation, within the larger UN system, and in relation to other international, regional, and bi- or multilateral actors. Without, the current challenges can hardly be understood.


1 Uniting Our Strengths for Peace – Politics, Partnerships And People; Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations. http://www.un.org/sg/pdf/HIPPO_Report_1_June_2015.pdf

2 The Challenge of Sustaining Peace – Report of the Advisory Group of Experts For The 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture.

Click to access 300615_The-Challenge-of-Sustaining-Peace.pdf

3 The future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. Report of the Secretary-General to General Assembly and Security Council; Document A/70/357–S/2015/682. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/270/74/PDF/N1527074.pdf?OpenElement

4 Report of the Secretary-General to General Assembly and Security Council; Document A/55/305–S/2000/809; http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/55/305

5 http://wps.unwomen.org/en/high-level-review

6 http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=9048

7 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/28/remarks-president-obama-un-peacekeeping-summit

8 http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2015peaceoperations.pdf

9 Figures represent the deployment as of November 2015

International policing in peace operations

“Restoring confidence and transforming security, justice, and economic institutions is possible within a generation, even in countries that have experienced severe conflict.” 

World Development Report 2011, Conflict, Security and Development; The World Bank, April 2011; http://www.worldbank.org

“The worst times in European history were in the fourteenth century, during and after the Hundred Years War, in the seventeenth century at the time of the Thirty Years War, and in the first half of the twentieth century. The twenty-first century may be worse than any of these.”

Robert Cooper, The Breaking of Nations, 2003, Atlantic Books, pg. vii

“To understand the present we must first understand the past.”

Ibid, pg. 7


Over the past months, I have found my way back into writing. It has been an arduous process, and so many reasons were contributing to that it took so long. What appears to be the result of a brilliant or less brilliant idea, put into words then, in reality it is the product of many months where the subconscious parts of the mind wrestled with it. And then, all of a sudden, it comes up in to the clear of the conscious. That’s one part of the story.

Another one is that the theme of the articles I am going to publish into the testing ground of my blog could not be written earlier. In my line of professional work, 2015 has been a year with most important events which set the stage for this writing. The first article will highlight some of the strategic events.

Next is the reasons that 2015 saw an almost incredible amount of things happening which the world is struggling with. In my view, like for many others, it is changing the global fabric of what we are challenged with, for many reasons.

So there were operational challenges. And there was more reading blogs than writing. Witnessing how the world wrote about some events, including terror attacks, and forgot about others, like the areas in which my colleagues and I work. I watched the migration crisis, in amazement. And I watched the many visible aspects of xenophobia, and reverberating patterns, like ping-pong-balls, of radicalization of language, and cruel action. Look, in retrospective, on what I wrote about Charlie Hebdo. We now have many of these, many more, and many more worrying patterns of that the world becomes resentful, that simplifying and manipulative language drives the discussions, rather than educated and informed talking and writing, rather than compassionate thinking, breaking up the fiefdoms of egotism.

We need voices of compassion, empathy, rational understanding, able to contribute to the appropriate dealing with very complex development. The great simplifiers, we have too many of them, all over this world. It is their hour, they yell their manipulations from the rooftops. As long as the voices of reason stay silent, they find easy prey.

So, in order to write, another reason was that I needed to research, and to think. Sometimes, every sentence took me a day. And many days in order to rewrite that sentence, until I was satisfied. Behind some articles there is intense number crunching. And nothing is referring to data which would not be public. In everything I am writing I am referring to data and information that you can look up on the Internet, or books that you can buy.

I got the hang of it again, so now my writing, as a process, is much easier than it has been, say, summer 2015. And many other things happened that summer, of which none is to be shared here.

Alright then, if you like what I will post, enjoy!

Never Again – Never Forget

This is the fourth installment on coercion, and torture. What I want to address here is a broader context, including atrocities that haunt us, seemingly without end. History is full of shameful chapters where we did it again, and again, and again.

I ended my third entry with the question “How to argue that there are forms of coercion that need to be banned in their entirety?”. This is where I begin to take it up today.

In my line of work, the phrase “Never Again” is meaning a lot, used quite often, triggering many memories. Some of those memories relate to direct experiences with atrocities that I have witnessed. Some of them relate to atrocities that have set the stage for my desire to contribute to peace operations. Some of these do deeply affect the corporate conscience of the United Nations, in places where we failed to prevent atrocities, such as in Rwanda, and in Bosnia&Herzegovina. The earliest memories of wishing that it shall never happen again relate to the history of my country, Germany, before I was born. The history of my country, and how I was told, and learned about it, has formed main parts of my conscience.

In an earlier blog post, I referred to an Op Ed in the New York Times, Dec. 9, 2014, by Eric Fair: “I Can’t Be Forgiven for Abu Ghraib⁠1”. Eric Fair, an Army veteran, was a contract interrogator in Iraq in 2004. In 2014, he was a Professor for creative writing at Lehigh University. Parts of his Op Ed deal with his revealing to his students what he did, in Iraq. He tortured. His Op Ed for sure is stirring up a lot of emotions, and I can only imagine that many of them will be very controversial, especially by those who have suffered from torture trauma, either being victims, or perpetrators (they too become victims, later on, may be even those with strong sociopathic traits⁠2). Eric Fair ends the Op Ed with the following sentences: “In some future college classroom, a professor will require her students to read about the things this country did in the early years of the 21st century. She’ll assign portions of the Senate torture report. There will be blank stares and apathetic yawns. There will be essays and writing assignments. The students will come to know that this country isn’t always something to be proud of.”

Not even scratching the surface of the never ending row of atrocities in mankind’s history, how does “Never Again” work if we seem to constantly forget, and/or seem not to be able to abstain, even given the overwhelming testimony of what we are able to do to our brothers and sisters if we allow ourselves running unleashed?

What possible comfort can be drawn from a catch phrase that we so notoriously use, use it again, or may even use it for other situations whilst we stained our conscience ourselves?

Should we give that intent up?

For the record, I am not arguing this. I hear this sometimes, and in a more depressing mood this question can occur to me, too. Recently, I read an essay in “Harper’s Magazine⁠3”, titled “Against Human Rights”, by Eric A. Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. This essay is so upsetting that I may dissect it at a later opportunity. It serves as an example for the, in my view, most dangerous rationale that would suggest that, because standing up for Human Rights allegedly did not work (which is untrue), the concept itself might be outdated (which is devilish).

As a child, and as a young adult, I believed in the notion that thousands of years of civilization had a cumulative effect, that somehow this effect would lead to a thicker cultural skin, that atrocities were less likely to happen, taking into account some societal learning. I may be excused for that naivety. I was a growing up teenager in a country that had not experienced war ever during my lifetime, had not participated in one. Neither I was confronted with actual atrocities we were committing, none that we had to actually suffer from. That all was part of a past long gone. During the 1970’s my political conscience began to grow. As a people, we were acutely conscious of the atrocities of the Holocaust that we had committed a few decades ago. This led to generations of young German citizens who had no direct experience with war, with killing, with torture, sadism, genocide.

The generations to which I relate, we grew up with a lot of guilt, and shame, for what our forefathers did. This type of German conscience was, and is, strong in saying “Never Again”. This is true until today, and it took me a very long time, and my direct exposition to the Hell that Mankind can create on Earth after I began to work in peace operations, to relate to why it is so incredibly important to uphold the call for “Never Again”. I can only speak for my generations, and I can only explain the context from what I experienced, and continue to experience, in some of the most brutal conflicts of today’s World. Whether there is a different conscience in younger people in Germany, very much along the lines of Eric Fair’s question at the end of his Op-Ed, I don’t exactly know.

However, this is precisely what Eric Fair is referring to: How can one ensure a remaining understanding, being part of a societal and individual conscience, that certain acts are acts of Hell on Earth, and that there simply shall not be any tolerance for them, justification of them, or committing them?

April 07, 2004 I attended a town hall meeting of the United Nations in Pristina, Kosovo. On this day, the United Nations commemorates the genocide that happened 1994 in Rwanda. Throughout approximately 100 days, Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu.⁠4, as a consequence of a brutal, systematic, well organized genocide. For comprehensive reading, I recommend Lt. Gen. Romeo Daillaire, “Shake Hands With The Devil⁠5”.

This April 07 in 2004 was a very special day for me: I was the Police Commissioner in charge of 4.500 international police officers and 6.500 Kosovo Police Service officers, within the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo. A little more than two weeks earlier, we had fought off three days of massive violence in Kosovo. There had been civil unrest on which some ring leaders had hooked up, deciding that it was now the time to drive the Serb minority population out of Kosovo. It was an attempted ethnic cleansing happening under the eyes of the United Nations and NATO. Together with our military NATO colleagues, my police officers and I engaged in fighting this off. Long story short, I claim that we succeeded. However, at the end of these three days we mourned killed and injured civilians, injured police officers and soldiers, a large new number of internally displaced persons, and the demolition of cultural Serb Orthodox heritage and uncounted Kosovo-Serb houses.

We were tired, shocked, recovering, regrouping. Within this deeply emotional phase, on April 07 we watched documentary about the Rwanda genocide. After watching this movie, the Principal Deputy of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, my friend Charles Brayshaw, was supposed to address us, assembled commemorating this genocide. He began with stating “Never Again”. As he wanted to continue his speech, his voice broke, tears were all over his face. He stopped, just with these two words. Because this is what we had lived up for during these three nightmare days. We had prevented it.

Yesterday, I walked the streets of Manhattan, on my way to a bookstore. It was cold, dark, a mixture of slush and rain was attempting to penetrate my coat. I thought about that I am growing 57 this month. I asked myself: “What is it that I want to see staying beyond? What will be the result of my contribution, when I die?”

All of a sudden I saw it: It’s not an accumulation of more. It’s about keeping the flame lit, to be a part of those who carry it.

There may be a future in which we will be able to fully commit to “Never Again”. But whether that is so, and when, we don’t know yet. However, one thing is clear: Until it will never happen again, it is about “Never Forget”.

That is why Eric Posner is wrong: The effects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights may be disappointing, or not. I humbly disagree, but even more, abandoning them creates Hell on Earth. If we deprive people from inalienable human rights just because they have done this to us, we do not only enter into the “An Eye for an Eye” age again.

Rather, we allow the Doors of Armageddon to open.

1 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/opinion/the-torture-report-reminds-us-of-what-america-was.html?nytmobile=0&_r=0

2 As one of the most vivid examples for that even individuals with obviously strong sociopaths traits can be overwhelmed by a “gollum-like” recognition of what they have become, once their denial is broken up, watch the amazing documentary “The Act of Killing”. But beware, this goes under your skin! From the synopsis on the website http://theactofkilling.com: “…When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, Anwar and his friends were promoted from small-time gangsters … to death squad leaders. They helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals in less than a year. As the executioner for the most notorious death squad in his city, Anwar himself killed hundreds of people with his own hands.

Today, Anwar is revered as a founding father of a right-wing paramilitary organization that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers, and they are happy to boast about everything from corruption and election rigging to acts of genocide.

…Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.

3 Harper’s Magazine, Vol. 329, No. 1973, October 2014; http://www.harpers.org; Harper’s Magazine Foundation, 666 Broadway, New York, USA

4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Kagame

5 ISBN 0 09 947893 5

On Sustainability – European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002 to 2012)

Beware!! This is a long note, with extensive footnotes at the end of each of the following four chapters.

I am putting this “Hand-Over Note of the Head of Mission, on occasion of the termination of EUPM, and the establishment of follow-on assistance to law enforcement and the criminal justice system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance and under the European Union Special Representative” into my archive here, for the access of interested readers.

In Bosnia & Herzegovina, the United Nations established a UN peacekeeping operation after the end of the war, with a police component which came to be known as IPTF (International Police Task Force). It lasted for seven years, ending in 2002. The end was not an end of peace operations, but basically a transition for UN peacekeeping into the first ever peace operation of the European Union, the “European Union Police Mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina EUPM”, which lasted for ten more years. Between 2004 and 2008 I supervised this Mission from EU Headquarters in Brussels. Between 2008 and 2012 I became the last Head of Mission of the EUPM, following on, and ending the work, of four EU Police Commissioners, and friends of mine, including my dear friend, the late Sven Frederiksen of Denmark.

This marked the end of seventeen years of peace operations of UN and EU in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and I note this here as one important and successful example for that our work, once begun, requires more than a decade of work. Yet, even after the end of UN peacekeeping, or the transition into a regional follow-up, more work is necessary.

This is what this hand-over-note is about. I plan more articles and documentary work, referring to other successful peace operations, like the UN peacekeeping efforts in Timor Leste, or in Haiti, or other places. I will continue to write about specific missions, you will find them with their tags, and generally under the category “Peace Operations”.

Chapter One: Introduction – On Sustainability

“Restoring confidence and transforming security, justice, and economic institutions is possible within a generation, even in countries that have experienced severe conflict.”

World Development Report 2011, Conflict, Security and Development; The World Bank, April 2011; http://www.worldbank.org

With the planning process for establishing the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina running through the year 2002, the European Union aimed at following on the tasks that were considered being completed by the United Nations International Police Task Force, under Annex 11 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace. IPTF operated for seven years until the end of 2002, and carried out and imposed rigorous reforms such as physical separation of police from the intelligence services, certification of local police through a vetting procedure aimed to bring local police to international standards of integrity and professionalism, or accreditation of local Law Enforcement Agencies according to basic democratic standards. In that, IPTF had begun a process of building a democratic and sustainable police force in the country.

Throughout EUPM’s following almost ten years of contribution to assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina, the term “sustainability” is frequently used.  Council Joint Action as of 11 March 2002 on the European Union Police Mission states: “(2) In line with the general objectives of Annex 11 of the Dayton/Paris Agreement, the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) should establish sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership…”.

The Mission Statements given to EUPM with five consecutive Concepts of Operation use the term as follows:

  • (1) CONOPS EUPM I, 09.04.2002:  “à établir des dispositifs de police durables sous gestion de la Bosnie-Herzégovine”;
  • (2) CONOPS EUPM II, 04.11.2005:  “the EUPM has made considerable achievements in developing sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership”;
  • (3) CONOPS EUPM II, 08.10.2007: “has made considerable achievements in developing sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership”;
  • (4) CONOPS EUPM III, 14.07.2009: “has contributed in developing sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership
  • (5) CONOPS EUPM for transition phase, 12.10.2011: “has contributed in developing sustainable policing arrangements and in enhancing the police- prosecutors cooperation in the criminal justice system under BiH ownership”.

By the end of 2010, half-way through the then two-years mandate phase of the Mission, EU Member States decided on conducting a strategic review on the EUPM, which was subsequently carried out under the lead of the Crisis Management Planning Directorate (CMPD), a part of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The “Review At A Strategic Level On The Future Of European Union Police Mission (EUPM) In Bosnia and Herzegovina”  was presented to EU Member States early 2011. It measured the progress in mandate delivery against the desired end-state, as it was formulated in the CONOPS 12096/09: “The BiH authorities will have taken significant steps towards a sustainable and effective capability in the fight against organised crime and corruption and will have demonstrated the ability to deliver results. This will include an enhanced systematic exchange of information between relevant LEAs in BiH, including improved police-prosecutor relations, improved regional and international cooperation, including coordination with relevant EU LEAs and an adequate accountability mechanism.”

In it’s assessment on mandate delivery, the Review notes: “A little more than half way through its mandate, the mission has achieved significant progress in all areas of its mandate.” The Strategic Review identified the satisfactory progress made towards sustainable development on the level of individual institutions. Secondly, and in the context of this writing more importantly, the Review assessed the development in the area of joint capacities as not being sustainable yet.

The establishment of further technical assistance to law enforcement and criminal justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the expiration of EUPM’s mandate, notably by way of support under the Instrument for Pre-Accession, is leaving a second core EUPM task for the transitional period between January and June 2012, as defined in the CONOPS as of 12.10.2011: “Smooth handover of EUPM’s remaining key tasks to a EUSR Rule of Law (RoL)/Police Section.”

Thus, EUPM’s tasks to be handed over to the EUSR are those that are considered, including through the CMPD-led review, as not having achieved a sustainable degree of establishment yet. These topics naturally sit on a high strategic level of EUPM’s work, and have required substantial work of the EUPM throughout its entire life-cycle.

This paper is my personal contribution, as the fourth and last Head of Mission of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the process of documenting EUPM’s legacy. It is focussing on selected priority areas where further development of the system of providing police  and criminal justice, contributing to security and the rule of law, could not progress to a satisfactory degree, could not reach “sustainability”, and where I feel that further strategic assistance should be considered.

Naturally, this paper excludes the documentation of the many widely acknowledged successes that EUPM had. Such documentation can be found in more detail in other parts of the legacy documentation. They are excluded here, and assistance to further improvement will be conducted under IPA programming.

This paper’s objective is two-fold:

(1) To serve as a hand-over note on remaining key areas of concern to the European Union Special Representative;

(2) To contribute to a lessons-learned process within the European Union.

For eight years, I have contributed to the work of EUPM, both in my capacities within structures that are known post-Lisbon as “Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability CPCC”, a part of the European External Action Service EEAS, between 2004 and 2008, and in my current capacity as Head of Mission of the EUPM, between 2008 and now.

Under the title “On sustainability”, my contribution addresses three areas that have been a permanent challenge for the EUPM:

(1) EUPM’s experience with the support to development and implementation of police reform and restructuring processes is covered in the chapter “On Police Reform”;

(2) Experiences with the support to the development of capacities of law enforcement that go beyond the individual capacities of each agency, and that require strategic and policy support including through relevant Ministries, are covered in the chapter “On Institutionalised Cooperation”;

(3) Experiences with the support to the development of a system of internal and external checks and balances aiming at ensuring that police carry out their duties properly and are held responsible if they fail to do so, are covered in the chapter “On Accountability”.

Two remarks should be kept in mind when reading the following three chapters:

(1) For many years, the International Community engaged in efforts reforming the police in BiH. Parts of this have faced considerable domestic controversy, notably the efforts to restructure the police. Within the domestic context of BiH, the term “Police Reform”, therefore, is often used with a limited understanding: Whilst reforming the police may include efforts to restructure the organizational and legal setup, it also includes many equally important aspects, such as procedural, managerial, educational, or administrative. In BiH, the term “Police Reform” is mostly reduced to the understanding of “Police Restructuring”, and has subsequently become politically contentious. Until today, the term can not be used without risking antagonistic reactions. When ever EUPM engaged in efforts to assist in increasing efficiency and efficacy of the complex police system in BiH, it had to be mindful of that. However, efforts between late 2008 and 2012 assisting in increasing institutionalised cooperation faced the same political controversy as was the case with Police Reform; and for the same political reasons. The deficiencies that restrict the system’s overall readiness to engage in institutionalised cooperation on an European level therefore continue to exist.

(2) The chapter “On Accountability” relates to a larger and long-term development of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s system within the context of fully applying underpinning democratic principles of governance. Inter alia, the chapter documents a legal dispute that became visible in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina over the recent years. This dispute is, in reality, a political dispute, with EUPM’s main concern sitting with the worrying degree of politicisation of policing. However, it is important to stress that EUPM’s decade of experience does not restrict this concern to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rather, this is a much wider issue, prevalent in all areas of interaction between police and politics. The fact that this became so visible in the Federation has only to do with the emerging controversy between political parties on Laws on Internal Affairs, which has not been the case elsewhere.

This hand-over note would not have been possible without the invaluable contribution and critical review by a few dedicated individuals, each of them with more than a decade, in some cases with almost two decades of their personal witnessing the development in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am extremely grateful for their help and advise.

Lastly, this is my place to put on record that the work of EUPM would not have been possible without the professionalism and dedication of law enforcement and criminal justice system professionals, and Ministers, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been a true privilege to assist in their efforts to contribute to the security and the rule of law for the citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus to association with and accession to the European Union.

Sarajevo, May 2012

Stefan Feller

Head of Mission / Police Commissioner

European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chapter Two: On Police Reform

By April 2008, the process that is mostly referred to as “Police Reform” (and which mainly has been an exercise on restructuring Police) had generated a result that was considered acceptable both for BiH and for the EU for entering into the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA). Until today, the results of Police Reform remain politically controversial, considered being not satisfactory by some, whilst being the maximum compromise with no possibility to re-enter the discussion by others. The results as of early 2008 differ significantly from original intentions guiding the EU position between 2003 and 2008. Initial ambitions were, by far, not met.

The process had begun with the “Report from the Commission to the Council on the preparedness of Bosnia and Herzegovina to negotiate a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union”, COM (2003) 692, 18 November 2003.⁠1 The European Commission formally called for systemic reform of the policing structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

EUPM followed on to the United Nations International Police Task Force within UNMiB. The European Union Police Mission became operational 01 January 2003, with an initial mandate until the end of 2005. It’s mission was to seek sustainable policing arrangements⁠2 under BiH ownership in accordance with best European and international practice. It was actively involved in the discussion on Police Reform. January 2004, EUPM presented a “Concept Paper on Restructuring Law Enforcement Agencies in BiH⁠3 and “developed a reform proposal that envisioned establishment of the position of police director, to be supervised by a state-level Ministry of Security, and creation of five police regions…”.⁠4

05 July 2004, the High Representative issued a “Decision Establishing the Police Restructuring Commission”,⁠5 (PRC) which also became known as the “Martens Commission”. The EUPM HoM was a member. 28 October 2004, the Chair of this Commission issued a 281 page document “Final Report on the Work of the Police Restructuring Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina” in which he determined that “an acceptable level of professional consensus exists for proposing to the Council of Ministers and the High Representative a “single structure of policing under the overall political oversight of a ministry or ministries in the Council of Ministers”.”⁠6

EUPM participated in further work, including “the establishment of the Police Steering Board, co-chaired by the EUPM and local authorities”.⁠7 In February 2005, the PRC issued its “Final Report on the Work of the Police Restructuring Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina⁠8”. The Report starts with: “The Chair of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Police Restructuring Commission has determined an acceptable level of professional consensus exists for proposing to the Council of Ministers and the High Representative a “single structure of policing under the overall political oversight of a ministry or ministries in the Council of Ministers”.“

Adhering to the 12 directing principles of police restructuring, enumerated in the Decision of the High Representative [Bosnia and Herzegovina Official Gazette 36/04], including a policing service that is, inter alia, efficient and effective, financially sustainable, reflecting the ethnic distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, protected from improper political interference, and accountable to the law and the community, the report proposal foresaw “that the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be vested with exclusive competency for all police matters, which includes legislative and budgetary competency. The Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina will have responsibility for overall political oversight of the single structure of policing in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The independent, national Police Inspectorate will monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the single structure of policing. The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), the State Border Service (SBS), and the new Local Police Bodies will form the Police Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Local Police Bodies will operate in Local Police Areas commanded by Local Police Commissioners. The Local Police Bodies will prevent, detect and investigate common crimes, and provide rapid intervention, traffic control and safety, crowd control and public order to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Community policing will be a main feature of police work in the Local Police Bodies.

EUPM’s mandate was evaluated in 2005 and refocussed with the beginning of 2006. It included “Support to the Police Reform Process”: “In accordance with the EUSR’s lead, actively support, advise and guide where appropriate, the implementation of police restructuring, as set out in the Agreement on Restructuring of Police Structures, endorsed by the RSNA on October 5th 2005, the Federation Parliament on October 12th 2005 and the BIH State Parliament on October 18th, 2005.

Already with the first Six-Month-Report (SMR) under the refocussed mandate, the EUPM HoM characterized a number of developments that were to pose challenges on the work on EUPM in implementing the mandate on assisting Police Reform, inter alia including the start of negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA); the change of the Republika Srpska (RS) government to a SNSD-led coalition under Prime Minister Milorad DODIK; the progress towards reforming the constitution; and the challenge to the Directorate for the Implementation of Police Restructuring (DIPR) by the RS Prime Minister – including questioning the role of EUPM HoM within the Directorate.⁠9

With its next SMR, covering the period between April and October 2006, it became clear that the challenges were not temporary, but part of a fundamental opposition against the initiated process: The HoM reported “the continuous obstruction and undermining of the October 2005 political agreement on police restructuring by the Republika Srpska (RS), including the withdrawal from active participation in the Directorate for the Implementation of Police Reform (DIPR)⁠10.

December 2006, the DIPR (co-chaired by the HoM EUPM, to be reminded) presented a “Proposal Plan for Implementation of BiH Police Structures Reform”⁠11. This plan mapped out a structure based on the February 2005 PRC Report and the mentioned principles.

In its SMR for the period October 2006 to April 2007, the EUPM HoM described “ The failure of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt the report of the Directorate for the Implementation of Police Restructuring (DIPR) which was presented in the beginning of 2007. Since February 2007, EUSR/OHR facilitated political negotiations which remained inconclusive to date, though a meeting held on 14 March came close to an agreement. On the other hand, RS government conclusions of 4 April and of the RS National Assembly of 11 April 2007 have again rejected the process.

In its SMR for the period April 2007 to October 2007, EUPM HoM continues to note a lack of progress, stating that “Bosnia and Herzegovina was not able to initial and sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU due to a lack of progress in key reforms, including on police restructuring.” He states that “The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to adopt the report of the Directorate for the Implementation of Police Restructuring (DIPR) and the ‘Draft protocol on meeting the police reform requirements necessary for initialing a and signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement’ proposed by the EUSR/HR. Political negotiations facilitated by the EUSR/HR resumed in September on the basis of the draft protocol with the aim to reach an agreement by 30 September, in view of the European Commission’s annual progress report. In their function as political party presidents of SBiH and SNSD, BiH Presidency Member, Dr Haris Silajdzic and RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik unilaterally signed on 28 September an agreement which failed to meet the three EU principles for reform. On 09 October, HDZ BiH and HDZ 1990 put forward a new document, and on 11 October, convened a meeting of party leaders to discuss the document. This meeting failed to reach agreement.”

24 October 2007, the leaders of the political parties HDZBiH, HDZ1990, PDP, SNSD, SDA and SBiH signed the so-called “Mostar-Declaration on Police Reform”.⁠12 The signatories agreed to undertake all necessary activities for implementation of the police reform in accordance with the principles of the European Union, and which are indispensable for continuing the process of association of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the European Union.

Leaders fully and unconditionally agreed with the content of the present Declaration and every of its particular point as indicated below, therefore including that the reform of the current police structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be implemented in line with the following three principles of the European Commission: (1) All legislative and budgetary competencies for all police matters must be vested at the State level.  (2) No political interference with operational policing. (3) Functional local police areas must be determined by technical policing criteria, where operational command is exercised at the local level. The second part of the declaration describes a general commitment, that includes the statement that the structure of the single police forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be in line with the constitutional structure of the country.

Between the signing of the Mostar Declaration and the signing of the two Police Reform Laws that, finally, prepared the ground for signing the SAA, EUPM notes in its SMR for the period between October 2007 and April 2008: “The political atmosphere has been tense since last October. The High Representative announced a range of measures to improve the functionality of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s institutions, prompting strong reactions from the Republika Srpska. Despite the resulting tensions, on 28 October 2007 leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s governing parties signed the Mostar Declaration agreeing to take necessary steps to implement police reform as a requirement to sign the Stabilisation and Associations Agreement. In November, political leaders agreed to an Action Plan for police reform, defining the necessary detail and legal solutions. The Council of Ministers subsequently adopted the Mostar Declaration and Action Plan. This brought Bosnia and Herzegovina back on track towards EU integration. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement was initialed on 4 December 2007 by the Enlargement Commissioner in Sarajevo. … In early February 2008, however, the decision of the leading Bosniak party to walk away from the Mostar Declaration and the Action Plan caused major difficulties. In parallel to this, the RS National Assembly adopted a resolution claiming the right of self- determination. The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council met at the end of February 2008 in Brussels and reacted strongly to these serious developments and decided to keep the Office of the High Representative in place until a set of five objectives and two conditions were met. With the adoption of the two police reform laws, prospects for the signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement increased, thereby significantly improving the chances to meet one of the two conditions. The second condition is a positive assessment of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Peace Implementation Council.

On the two Police Reform Laws, EUPM noted: “The most important event of the last six months with regard to EUPM’s objectives has been the agreement and adoption of the two police reform laws in line with the Mostar Declaration and the Action Plan. The Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed these laws in April 2008. At this stage, the two laws will not result in a comprehensive police reform encompassing the entities, cantons and Brcko District, as relations between the State and other levels are to be addressed after constitutional reform. … The laws will establish seven new bodies at state level to coordinate and support the two state level police agencies, i.e. the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) and Border Police (annex 1 for a more detailed assessment). However, there are important elements in the law, which allow EUPM to come to a cautiously optimistic assessment. First, the laws make reference to the three EU principles for police reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Second, there is a commitment to take further steps after constitutional reform. Third, the institutions established by the two laws could be “upgraded” in the future to play a more important role vis-à-vis entity, cantonal and Brcko District police. The slow progress of the police reform can be attributed to the generally tense political atmosphere that has prevailed in the last two years and significant disagreements among the political parties of the government coalition. Against this background it was not possible to achieve a more profound police reform at this time. However, the three elements highlighted above, indicate to EUPM that the process is heading in the right direction. In close coordination with the EUSR/HR, the Mission will from now on assist in implementing the laws together with the European Commission. The European Commission has foreseen to provide technical assistance and EUPM will be able to provide police experts.

By December 2011, the cautious optimism expressed by EUPM at that time had to fade away slowly over the following years: EUPM continued to report an ever more deteriorating political climate in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Agencies that had to emerge from the two Police Reform Laws appeared to be kept in slow-motion, for example took it until 2010 to have the Director and the two Deputy Directors of the Directorate for Police Coordination appointed. Likewise, the establishment of an Agency for Anti-Corruption is in its early infancy. Any political activity related to a larger constitutional reform, died with the “Butmir Conference”, which appears to be the last significant effort known to date.

Five years of Police Reform process began with an objective to establish a “single structure of policing under the overall political oversight of a ministry or ministries in the Council of Ministers”. They ended with no changes within the given setup, but added seven new bodies at state level to coordinate and support the two state level police agencies, i.e. the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) and Border Police.

In 2010, the then Prime Minister of the Republica Srpska Milorad Dodik (now it’s President) stated: “Finally, it is regrettable that the assessment mischaracterizes the actions of the RS in defending the rights it is guaranteed by the Dayton Agreement, including the right to protect its vital interests, as challenges to the international community. The time has come for the international community to recognize that its relentless efforts to impose an overly centralized structure on Bosnia-Herzegovina will not succeed and to accept that a decentralized structure, but one fully capable of qualifying it for EU entry, is the best guarantee of prosperity and stability in this region.”⁠13

1 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2003:0692:FIN:EN:PDF – Also Attachment 1

2 Concept of Operations, 09.04.2002, doc 7766/02 – RESTREINT UE-: “La MPUE, soutenue par les programmes de développement institutionnel de la Commission, devrait viser, dans le cadre plus large de l’action en faveur de l’État de droit et conformément aux objectifs généraux de l’annexe 11 de l’accord de Dayton, à établir des dispositifs de police durables sous gestion de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, conformément aux meilleures pratiques européennes et internationales et, ce faisant, à améliorer le niveau de la police en Bosnie-Herzégovine.
La MPUE devrait avoir atteint ses objectifs d’ici la fin de 2005.”

3 Attachment 2

4 International Crisis Group – BOSNIA’S STALLED POLICE REFORM: NO PROGRESS, NO EU – Europe Report N°164 – 6 September 2005 – pg 7 – Also attachment 3

5 http://www.ohr.int/ohr-dept/rule-of-law-pillar/prc/prc-key-doc/default.asp?content_id=34149 – Also attachment 4

6 Attachment 5

7 Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for the Follow-on Mission to EUPM in Bosnia and Herzegovina; 04.11.2005, 14035/05, pg. 3

8 Attachment 6

9 Six-Monthly Review Report of the Police Head of Mission of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; 24.04.2006

10 Six-Monthly Review Report of the Police Head of Mission of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; 30.10.2006

11 Attachment 7

12 http://www.eusrbih.org/policy-docs/?cid=2109,1,1 – Also attachment 8

13 “Bad Intel – Foreign Policy – 12 Feb 2010 – http-::www.foreignpolicy.com:articles:2010:02:12:bad_intel – Also attachment 9

Chapter Three – On Institutionalized Cooperation

The “Concept of Operation (CONOPS) for the Follow-on Mission to EUPM in Bosnia and Herzegovina” for the period of 2006 and 2007⁠1 directed EUPM to (1) actively support, advise and guide where appropriate, the implementation of police restructuring; to (2) improve, through proactive mentoring, monitoring and inspecting, police managerial and operational capacities, especially at the State level, including relations with other law-enforcement agencies; to (3) improve, through proactive mentoring, monitoring and inspecting, police managerial, operational and coordination capacities, especially at the State level to enhance BiH’s capacity to fight organised crime in accordance with existing international, and in particular regional, commitments and obligations; and (4) in close coordination with the EUSR, monitor the exercise of political control over the police and address inappropriate political interference in the operational management of the police.

On occasion of the renewal of the mandate for the period 2008 and 2009, the objectives given to EUPM with the CONOPS changed significantly⁠2, both through evaluation of given objectives and adding several new objectives. Whilst the support to police restructuring was rephrased towards a more supporting role, the objective to assist in the fight against organized crime remained the same. New objectives formed the framework of EUPM’s increased participation in, and support to, future processes under the EU enlargement policy that were envisaged towards and beyond the end of EUPMs mandate.

The objectives given to EUPM for the period of 2010 and 2011⁠3 directed the Mission to ensuring greater success in the fight against organised crime and corruption, strengthening the capacities of SIPA and other State level institutions, including sustainable coordination, cooperation and accountability mechanisms, as well as further enhancing police-prosecutor relations, thereby contributing to an improved functioning of the criminal justice system.

Finally, the CONOPS for EUPM’s transitional period throughout the first half of 2012⁠4 emphasized the objectives to (1) provide strategic advice to the BiH LEAs and political authorities on combating organised crime and corruption; to (2) promote and facilitate coordination and cooperation mechanisms vertically as well as horizontally between relevant LEAs, with a particular focus on State level agencies; and to (3) ensure a successful hand over between EUPM and the EUSR RoL/Police Section and contributing to the coordination of EU and EU Member States’ activities and programmes in the field of Rule of Law.

All mandates for EUPM between 2006 and 2012 increasingly took the general assistance to law enforcement that had characterized the mandate between 2003 and 2005 to more specified levels. The developing objectives directed the Mission towards more and more specific assistance in the fight against organised and other serious crime. Taking the situation of post-conflict development in Bosnia and Herzegovina into account, EUPM had to focus on both strengthening the individual capacities of law enforcement and the criminal justice system and to simultaneously work on strengthening coordination, cooperation and communication between agencies inside BiH, and between BiH and the outside world. For an EU crisis management mission tasked with strengthening the Rule of Law in a country of the Western Balkans, the prospect of EU accession of the host country formed a long term focus on cooperation with EU Agencies, such as EUROPOL, EUROJUST and FRONTEX, and on supporting bilateral cooperation between law enforcement of European Union Member States and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

With Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in spring 2008, EUPM found itself in a recalibration in relation to its mandate: The participation of EUPM in the police restructuring process, including a leading role,⁠5 transformed itself into an assistance to, and monitoring of the implementation of the results, notably the establishment of “seven new bodies at state level to coordinate and support the two state level police agencies”⁠6. Throughout the remainder of EUPM’s mandate for the period 2008 and 2009, but also for the following mandate during 2010 and 2011, EUPM’s activities moved substantially: On the one hand, EUPM monitored and assisted the implementation of agreed results of the police restructuring process, whilst on the other hand active and renewed commitment was directed to a systematic deepening of cooperation, coordination and communication between law enforcement and criminal justice on organized and other serious crime, and corruption. Further efforts were directed into the support of police accountability.

Already early in this recalibration throughout 2008 EUPM noted delays in the implementation of agreed results of the police restructuring,⁠7 and joined others by continuing to do so for the years to come⁠8. At the same time, EUPM continued to report operational results of law enforcement in the fight against organized crime, through State, entity, cantonal and Brcko District level law enforcement. The Mission itself increased efforts to establish domestic ownership.

In EUPM’s seventh SMR⁠9, HoM noted little progress in BiH fulfilling European partnership priorities and a negative political atmosphere, not conducive for progress at State level with regard to the support to the fight against organized crime.

However, HoM reported a track record of achievements continuing to emerge in the fight against serious and organized crime and corruption. State level agencies and police services on entity and cantonal levels, and Brcko District, agreed with EUPM that there is a need to jointly foster further development of communication, coordination and cooperation among themselves and with the other components of the criminal justice system, and to strengthen joint capacities and capabilities.

Throughout late 2008, EUPM undertook a comprehensive outreach, noting the assessment of state of play as presented by Heads of law enforcement and criminal justice on all levels, Minister of Security and entity Ministers of Interior. It became obvious how much the politicization of the police reform process had adversely affected communication on operational and strategic cooperation between law enforcement agencies⁠10. In close communication with international partners, especially the US Department of Justice’s ICITAP program, EUPM analyzed this in an effort of renewed commitment to assisting in the development of capacities in the fight against organized crime.

EUPM suggested to develop a set of principal objectives, a vision that would map out what domestic actors within law enforcement, criminal justice, Ministers, and EUPM would assess as being achievable, within the given agreed legal framework of policing structures that had set the stage for the signing of the SAA.⁠11 EUPM argued that the complex organizational reality within BiH’s law enforcement required redoubling efforts tackling the challenges, increasing sustainable success in the fight against organized crime. Therefore, systematic, effective and efficient cooperation, communication and coordination were identified as critical success factors for the fight of organized and other international crime. EUPM called on all actors to contribute to this goal, to the benefit of each.

EUPM’s mandate directed its efforts “especially at the State level”. EUPM argued that the inclusion of all administrative levels underneath, including entities, cantons, and Brcko District constitutes a critical success factor for achieving its mandate: State level law enforcement can neither strive nor contribute without a strong commitment of all administrative levels of BiH to contribute. After a thorough consultation process involving law enforcement and ministerial actors on all levels of BiH, and the State Prosecutor, HoM could present a set of six objectives, which were agreed for further strategic work, between EUPM and all interlocutors.⁠12 This Joint Vision remained valid during the transformation of EUPM into the third mandate, for 2010 and 2011, and therefore formed the basis for the entire Mission Implementation Plan⁠13 of EUPM between late 2008 and mid 2012.

On basis of this agreed vision, EUPM devised, in cooperation with all domestic partners including Ministries, its own Strategic Objectives on assisting domestic agencies, and kept partners permanently appraised on progress in implementation⁠14. EUPM advised domestic interlocutors to follow the same methodology and to identify those strategic objectives that would direct their respective institution’s development towards the jointly agreed vision. With significant energy, EUPM advised on the benefits for domestic organizations to place their mid- and long term commitments on the basis of own visions and strategic plans, and continued to do so until the end of its mandate.⁠15 Throughout the following years, progress on the level of individual agencies could be noted, and on cooperation between agencies on tactical and operational levels. However, the non-conducive state of political dialogue in BiH as a whole presented huge challenges to systematic, strategic, and institutionalized development contributing to joint aspects of law enforcement.⁠16

Both the approach to systematically strengthen capacities on individual organizational level and to strengthen the overall, or joint, capacity fighting organized crime and corruption had followed one structured and documented Mission Implementation Plan: Based on the Joint Vision and the Strategic Objectives that were devised from the Joint Vision, constituting the fundamental framework of EUPM’s assistance, a next step identified the main processes that were identified as crucial in achieving progress. On this third level the desired end state for each process, defining the end of EUPM assistance, was documented. This allowed for later benchmarking. Both at the beginning of 2009,⁠17 and at the end of of 2009⁠18 for the period 2010/2011, this step in identifying a coherent EUPM assistance was meticulously discussed with domestic actors. Attention should be given to one detail of the Business Plan for 2010/2011: It includes a  needs assessment for each  process. In other words, the Business Plan includes a description of gaps in the capacity of the system of law enforcement in fighting organized crime. Both the identification of this need, and the documentation in the Business Plan, included full inclusion of all domestic actors, including the Minister of Security and the entity Ministers of Interior in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republica Srpska. Wishing to stay neutral in a documented assessment of gaps as far as individual agencies were concerned⁠19, EUPM kept a needs assessment on a level that described the overall capacity of the system, including its deficiencies. By this, EUPM managed to find appreciation and support for this Business Plan by all relevant actors at all levels.

As a fourth step, EUPM described and documented every single support action by all its actors that were undertaken as a contribution to processes as described in the Mission Implementation- (MIP) or Business Plan (BP)⁠20. Thus, EUPM was striving for directing its decentralized resources, deployed into Headquarters and Field Offices, into a coherent support to seventeen agencies in the area of law enforcement, and several interlocutors in the criminal justice system, including the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and the State Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, the methodology used an IT-based distributed reporting system that enabled EUPM to monitor development, and to automatically generate progress reports that were regularly received by the Civilian Operation Commander⁠21.

Within EUPM’s twin-track approach, HoM decided to strategically focus his contribution to the overall assistance to the common undertaking strengthening the combined, or joint capacities of the entire system. EUPM conducted proactive outreach to important bilateral contributors to BiH security and Rule of Law institutions. EUPM continued to participate in coordination mechanisms, on operational and strategic level, with the Office of the High Representative (OHR), and especially intensified the already close cooperation between EUPM, the EUSR, and the EU Delegation. On the other hand, coordination between EUPM and EUFOR gradually moved from operational to strategic levels, following the increased capacity of domestic law enforcement, demonstrated on operational⁠22 and crime fighting level.

In late summer 2008, the US ICITAP had embarked on actively initiating and supporting informal meetings between a group of Heads of law enforcement agencies, and the State Prosecutor. Whilst such meetings may appear to be a fundamental layer of practical cooperation in most jurisdictions⁠23, they were not a reality in BiH at that time. Rather, participants would later acknowledge that they were not even having such talks beforehand, beyond a case-by-case level. EUPM supported this activity, led on HoM level, from autumn 2008 on. Between 2009 and 2012 these coordination meetings were mentored and supported by ICITAP and EUPM in a team effort.

In EUPM’s eighth Six-Month-Report⁠24, HoM noted: “State level agencies and police services on entity, cantonal levels and Brcko District, including the State Prosecutor continued to communicate, coordinate and cooperate at strategic level on a monthly basis and institutional arrangements are being developed at technical level. However, synchronization at the political level remained near impossible apart from issues related to European partnership requirements such as changes and harmonisation of criminal codes. EUPM’s support, joint with international community and bi-lateral partners, is yielding results in deepening a more systematic interaction between law enforcement agencies, yet this was insufficiently mirrored at the ministerial level where these efforts have been met at times with suspicion and even open obstruction.”

A positive assessment was noted in the following, ninth SMR⁠25, with HoM reporting: “The Mission successfully promoted increased cohesion among top police officials in regular meetings, including a joint study visit to Germany. These efforts are starting to be underpinned by enhanced inter-ministerial cooperation. At the technical police and prosecutor level, the Mission has no indication for a change of constructive attitudes. The progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina in fulfilling the requirements of the visa liberalization road map indicated that there is domestic ability and willingness for legislative and regulatory change in line with clear EU requirements.”

The reporting period covered with the tenth SMR⁠26, ending with October 2010, marked  the beginning of a slowing down in that development, leading to more concern in later periods. Whilst HoM continued to note operational success in cases related to the fight against organized and other serious crime, and increasing cohesion amongst top police officials, he could not confirm further and enhanced inter-ministerial cooperation, as he had done in the previous report. Rather, HoM noted no systematic inter-ministerial cooperation, limitation of cooperation to individual cases, and difficulties in institutionalized cooperation and coordination on technical level.

The decision of the Council of the EU in November 2010 to lift the visa requirement for short-term stays in the Schengen area for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina holding a biometric passport was based on the achievements recorded in the fight against organized crime and corruption. Arrests in December 2010 in Una-Sana Canton removed the leadership of the cantonal police, and an earlier operation in September 2010 led to the arrest of significant numbers of Republika Srspka and Border Police officers. EUPM noted: “Police and prosecutors continue to show determination to fight complex and challenging forms of crime and corruption, although concrete improvements are needed particularly in regards to police/prosecutor communication. Three factors were conductive these achievements: (1) First, the visa dialogue served as a catalyst. (2) Second, the nascent regular operational cooperation of senior law enforcement officials yielded results, as cases of blatant crime and corruption could be tackled successfully because, (3) third, the overall capability has increased logically as a result of domestic efforts and EU and international assistance over the last decade and could be made operational to lead more complex investigations, including throughout the country and with neighboring countries.” EUPM pushed LEAs not to rest on these successes, since neither the nascent operational cooperation had reached a satisfactory degree of sustainability nor could it be expected that organized crime would not adapt. Given that assumption, EUPM noted that success may only continue if law enforcement continues to improve.

In its eleventh SMR⁠27, EUPM continued to note the regular meetings between Police Directors and the State Prosecutor, but stressed the necessary “strong support of EUPM and the US International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Programme (ICITAP)”. The mission hosted a study visit to the German Federal Law Enforcement institutions in Berlin, in cooperation with ICITAP, which hosted a study trip to the US. EUPM prepared a further introduction to European law enforcement cooperation structures with EUROPOL, EUROJUST, FRONTEX, OLAF and the European Commission, planning this for May 2011.

In autumn 2011, with its twelfth SMR⁠28, EUPM indicated that the political gridlock of the past period was reflected by slow progress in the law enforcement and criminal justice sector. The controversy about State level versus entity levels competences in the areas of law enforcement and criminal justice continued. Despite stable operational cooperation, no progress could be registered in the further institutionalisation of coordination mechanisms between State, entity, Brcko District and cantons.  “Cooperation cannot move beyond the agreements made as a result of the police reform and the visa dialogue.”

The efforts of EUPM to foster institutionalized cooperation, with a wide range of instruments based on an open partnership approach, are well documented. They include, inter alia, (1) comprehensive institutional support to newly founded agencies, such as the Directorate for the Coordination of Police Agencies; (2) assistance to agencies and institutions of law enforcement and criminal justice on all levels; (3) participation in support activities of the larger International community in preserving and strengthening State level security and rule of law institutions; (4) participation in fostering regular coordination; (5) frequent outreach of HoM to Heads of institutions and Ministers on all levels; (6) systematic use of media; and (7) sponsoring of incentives for the senior management within security and rule of law, through convening seminars, organization of study trips under DHoM and HoM mentorship and participation in respective activities of international partners, notably from the US, and within the EU family⁠29.

In sum, EUPM could report considerable progress, throughout 2009, 2010 and 2011, in further strengthening  the capacity of individual agencies and institutions. At the same time, the support to informal coordination mechanisms was also yielding significant results, but confined to an operational level. EUPM reports do document a long and widely recognized series of joint operational activities of law enforcement and prosecutors. EUPM could use these successes for strong public messages that played in favor of law enforcement, calling for further development into the right direction, and towards institutionalization of such efforts, including through coordination of policy and strategic activities on the level of involved Ministries.

Thus, from the end of 2009 on, EUPM began to advise national partners to increase the cooperation, by making it more systematic and strategic, referencing to best practice within Member States of the EU. Though this was partly leading to the establishment of working groups within the informal coordination meetings, it also led to an increasing suspicion within some political quarters, notably in the Republic Srpska, that this would be an hidden re-entry into police reform issues⁠30. Ministerial/political positions on the call for institutionalization⁠31 became, over time, increasingly antagonistic. This reflected the worsening political dialogue and increasing antagonization of public political statements on the role of State level institutions, and moreover, on the role of the State itself⁠32.

Subsequently the Strategic Review of the EUPM, conducted by the EEAS’ Crisis Management Planning Directorate in early 2011⁠33 both identified the satisfactory progress made towards sustainable development on the level of individual institutions, and to assess the development in the area of development of joint capacities as not sustainable yet.

The call for institutionalization of cooperation that was promoted by EUPM was inconclusively and insufficiently responded to on political level. Openly antagonistic political positions on fundamental issues slowed down, partly even paralyzed necessary development, which can be exemplified within the given EUPM documentation⁠34.

The continued call on Bosnia and Herzegovina to find domestic solutions that enable its complex administrative structure to effectively and efficiently tackle serious and organized crime was prominently voiced in the Progress Report of the European Commission⁠35 in October 2011:

“One year after the general elections of 3 October 2010, the process of establishing executive and legislative authorities remains to be completed with the establishment of a State-level Government. The failure to reach a political agreement on the formation of authorities has hampered Bosnia and Herzegovina’s progress on much needed reforms, … . 

A shared vision by the political representatives on the overall direction and future of the country and its institutional setup is lacking. The EU accession process requires political will and functional institutions at all levels with an effective coordination mechanism on EU matters. … 

Overall, Bosnia and Herzegovina made some progress in the field of police, albeit uneven. Institutions created by the police reform laws were established at a slow pace. The lack of institutionalised cooperation between all law enforcement agencies and the limited strategic guidance remain challenges to achieve more efficient policing. …

There was little progress in fighting organised crime. Organised crime networks continue to operate throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and have a negative impact on political structures and the economy. A number of large-scale operations were nevertheless successfully conducted, thanks to the cooperation amongst different law enforcement agencies. Implementation of the strategy for the fight against organised crime continued. However, lack of adequate resources limits its effectiveness.”

On occasion of the presentation of EUPM’s last six month report before entering the 2012 transition period, HoM noted in his oral presentation⁠36 to the Political and Security Committee, 04 October 2011:

“The political gridlock resulted in a visible deterioration of the strategic cooperation. EUPM and international community partners constantly recalled the need for it, including to Ministers. We stressed the need to utilize the informal, albeit regular, cooperation mechanisms also for the development of operational strategies and policies to increase BiH’s capacity to fight organized crime and corruption. Therefore, we presented the EU policy cycle for organized and serious international crime as a model. … Overall, and too easily, law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation can become hostage of politics. The key to sustainability remains in the hands of the political decision-makers. They have to allow for a qualitative step towards more institutionalization of the ad-hoc cooperation. The EU provides a model on how institutionalization in this sensitive area can grow. I will continue to encourage BiH partners to look how EU member states jointly organise the strategic aspects of the fight against organized crime and corruption. … We continue, in close cooperation with the EU Delegation and with international partners, and in consultation with the EUSR, to work on finding solutions how to assist in this complex and long-term process of institutional development. … The upcoming transition of EUPM is part of a medium-term paradigm shift. Further progress would need to be accompanied by a re-calibrated approach, fostering the introduction of EU policy tools in the fight against organized crime and corruption. This will help BiH to meet the complex technical and policy needs coming from European integration. EUPM has laid groundwork for this. In the field of capacity building and knowledge transfer the European Commission is taking a lead through several IPA-projects which have started or are about to start. The fragility of the overall system remains painfully exposed. EU instruments need to have a maximum strength to shield the system from attack, and erosion. If the state level was to be left to its own devices, roll back and decrease of joint activities is likely.”

Between 2010 and May 2012, thirteen informal coordination meetings have been conducted, on basis of a co-chairing between the Directorate for Police Coordination and a rotating host. EUPM and ICITAP have made assistance to this mechanism a priority, and have stressed the need for a more institutionalised setup, including the need of unequivocal support by relevant Ministries. The amount of energy invested in this, including through the conduct of high-profile study visits to Europe and the United States, and through instrumenting all available diplomatic and political support in stressing the importance of systematic coordination, is more than considerable. Beginning in 2010, the position of the Director of the Police of the Republica Srpska and the RS Minister of Interior towards these meetings have become increasingly critical. Republika Srpska’s participation in the group was discontinued with the successful conclusion of the visa dialogue at the end of 2010. The perspective of visa liberalization and the conditions set-up in the road map, coerced Republika Srpska into cooperation as the failure to deliver visa liberalization for RS citizens could have clearly been attributed to the behaviour of the RS authorities. In turn, cooperation withered away once the prize was gained. This explains, why despite continous and labor-intense outreach on the level of Principals, the RS Director of Police has failed to attend these meetings as of 2011 and until today (May 2012). It has become obvious that the reasons for this rest with well-known political differences within the political system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the position of the leading RS political parties to insist on a maximum autonomy. The RS insists on the principle of maximum representation of the BiH level through the constituting entities, thus minimising the role, at times even attempting to abolish State level institutions, including in the field of the Rule of Law.

Any further progress as outlined in the European Commission Progress Report as of 2011 will therefore depend on the ability of the political system in Bosnia and Herzegovina to conclude on a joint way forward. The necessary political attraction can only come from an integration of BiH into transatlantic and European structures. Therefore, further domestic efforts on open issues that are documented in this paper, both on possibilities of the system to restructure its costly and inefficient structure of law enforcement, and to increase systematic cooperation inside the system, have to be placed into the process of EU enlargement, and regular police and judicial cooperation between EU law enforcement agencies and BiH agencies.

1 Document st14035/05 RESTREINT UE, 04 November 2005

2 Document st13592/07 RESTREINT UE, 08 October 2007

3 Document st15419/11 RESTREINT UE, 14 July 2009

4 Document st12069/09 RESTREINT UE, 12 October 2011

5 Inter alia, through co-chairing the Directorate for the Implementation of Police Restructuring (DIPR)

6 As noted in EUPM SMR as of 14.05.2008

7 EUPM six-monthly report as of 30 September 2008: HoM notes implementation behind schedule, e.g. on pg. 3.

8 As an example for many, EUPM kept reminding on the urgent need to comprehensively fighing corruption, through its media campaigns (see for many: http://www.eupm.org/Detail.aspx?ID=3859&TabID=9, attachment 1) until the end of the Mission itself, and continued to join in open criticism voiced by others, related to the unsatisfactory development of relevant capacities, such as the Agency for Anti-Corruption. See attachment 2, as an example: “Bosnia Daily No 2732 as of 19 March 2012, pg. 4: “TI and Open Society Fund send open letter to BiH Parliament and Council of Ministers – Corruption undermines nation building”; and attachment 3, an article in Balkan Insight as of 20.03.2012 in criticism voiced by a DG Enlargement representative.

9 7th SMR, distributed to EU MS 25 March 2009

10 As one interlocutor put it: “It is good that the times of Police Reform are behind us, so that we can talk again.”

11 Deliberately with no specified timeframe, especially because so many actors were involved and not accurate estimation would have been realistic anyway.

12 Attachment 4: Version valid for 2009

13 Attachment 5: Version valid for 2010, 2011, and the transitional period until mid 2012

14 Atachment 6 documents EUPM’s strategic objectives for 2009, attachment 7 documents the EUPM strategic objectives for 2010 and 2011. Both are founded on the respective joint vision.

15 HoM’s personal and EUPM’s official archive document a large number of related efforts, including through the conduct of high-level study trips, presentations on occasion of law enforcement coordination meetings, and through individual outreach.

16 Aspects that would require a systematic cooperation and coordination of several or all seventeen agencies in the area of law enforcement, and the criminal justice system, beyond an operational, or day-today- level.

17 Attachment 8: EUPM Business Plan for the period of 2009

18 Attachment 9: EUPM Business Plan for the period 2010/2011

19 Since it would have been confirmed in privacy only, if at all and vehemently disputed in public statements.

20 As it had to be re-named due to a harmonization effort of the CPCC over all civilian CSDP Missions in late 2009.

21 A full description will be subject to different writing, within EUPMs legacy documentation.

22 EUPM regularly reported about increased and demonstrated capacity of the BiH law enforcement to tackle highest challenges of operational nature, such as the handling, for example, of the Srebrenica annual commemoration event, large scale demonstrations, and situations of potential public disorder.

23 And especially within those that are comprised of multiple layers of agencies, like in federally structured systems.

24 SMR as of 02 October 2009 – RESTREINT UE

25 SMR as of 26 March 2010 – RESTREINT UE

26 SMR as of 01 October 2010 – RESTREINT UE

27 SMR as of 31 March 2011 – RESTREINT UE

28 SMR as of 30 September 2011 – RESTREINT UE

29 The Mission meticulously synchronized with the programme planning under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA), and encouraged, assisted to, and participated in seminars, workshops and other activities under TAIEX. Close cooperation with ILECU projects and a regular participation in activities under DCAF’s regional border strengthening activities were a permanent reality on all levels of the Mission.

30 The open and frank conversations, held in a very friendly and cordial atmosphere, between HoM and Ministers, on State and entity level, are well documented. They include individual outreach, regular consulting, participation of Ministers in coordination meetings, and events organized by EUPM. As one prominent example, HoM facilitated an open exchange of views between Minister for Security and entity Ministers of Interior with senior representatives of DG Enlargement and the Head of the EU Delegation, during a dinner at his residence, 2010.

31 In which EUPM was strongly supported within the EU family, within Services of the EEAS and the European Commission, and by international partners

32 Attachment 10 – Media transcript of an interview of RS President Dodik to RTRS, in which he is quoted as saying “BiH is not a state, but a state union that should provide services to its parts,”, with which he reiterates a statement that had been made on numerous occasions, and which is disputed in other political groups in BiH, and within the International Community.

For a more comprehensive narrative and analysis of underlying, all too often antagonistic political forces, see respective political analysis within EUPM’s legacy documents.

33 ARES (2011) 400825, RESTREINT UE

34 As prominent examples, EUPM’s assessments on the shortfalls related to systematic comprehensive sharing and assessment of intelligence in BiH and the shortfalls of operational contingency planning for situations that require the immediate and prepared response of several agencies, on occasion the attack on the police station in Bugojno in 2010 and the attack on the US Embassy in Sarajevo in 2011.

35 Attachment 11

36 Entire talking points available on request

Chapter Four – On Accountability

“… operational independence does not mean being above the rules that apply to all of us.” 

(Vijay Nambiar, Chef de Cabinet of the United Nations Secretary General; Letter to all staff 23 July 2010, on allegations that the SG would inflict on the operational independence of the United Nations Office for Internal Oversight (OIOS), as indicated in a letter to the SG by the outgoing Under Secretary General for OIOS, Inga-Britt Ahlenius, 14 July 2010.)

“14. The police shall enjoy sufficient operational independence from other state bodies in carrying out its given police tasks, for which it should be fully accountable.

59. The police shall be accountable to the state, the citizens and their representatives. They shall be subject to efficient external control.

60. State control of the police shall be divided between the legislative, the executive and the judicial powers.”

 (The European Code of Police Ethics, Recommendation Rec(2001)10, Council of Europe, 19 September 2001⁠1)

The support to creating accountable policing in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been front and center for all assistance by the international community under the Dayton Peace Agreement⁠2. Within EUPM’s fundamental documents, the term “accountability” itself was used for the first time in 2005. Whilst EUPM’s Operational Plan for 2006 and 2007 already uses the term on task level, the CONOPS for 2006 and 2007 is using this term⁠3 only within the paragraph describing the political objectives of the EU⁠4. Essentially, the EU described a target condition for the police within the aspirations of that time, that is, within the context of police reform.

The CONOPS for the period 2008 and 2009⁠5 continues to use the term in the paragraph describing political objectives, however, in a refined phrasing, taking the then emerging results of the Police Reform process into account: “In the medium term, it is to set BiH irreversibly on track for EU membership within the Stabilisation and Association process. To achieve this objective, strengthening the rule of law and the development of an effective, independent and accountable⁠6 police service (as identified by the Directorate for the Implementation of Police Restructuring) are crucial.” For the first time since 2003 the term is also used within the context of EUPM’s mandate. The three tasks that were identified already in the OPLAN for the previous period were now lifted on CONOPS level: (1) “Supporting the Police Restructuring process and reform efforts”; (2) “Assistance in the Fight against Organised Crime”; and (3) “Support to the local police accountability”.

Neither the CONOPS for 2008 and 2009 nor any other fundamental document did define, or explain, the term “accountability”. Elaborating on the context in which the term was understood, the CONOPS stated that “substantial progress has been made to reach acceptable standards in terms of police internal and external control, mainly through the establishment of Professional Standards Units, Internal Control Units, Public Complaint Bureaux and Independent Selection and Review Boards. Particularly against the backdrop of an un-restructured policing system, there is still a need for support and encouragement in designing and implementing sustainable control, inspection and accountability procedures and mechanisms at the various levels of the fragmented police system.” Subsequently, EUPM was tasked “to conduct inspections in order to identify systemic deficiencies in relation to inspection and accountability procedures and propose solutions to the BiH authorities”.

The CONOPS for 2010 and 2011⁠7 moved the political objective to achieve accountable policing into the section describing short-term objectives. Furthermore, in it’s Mission Statement, this CONOPS moved work on accountability into “residual capacities” of the EUPM: “As part of the broader rule of law approach in BiH and in the region, EUPM, while retaining residual capacities in the fields of police reform and accountability, will primarily support BiH relevant Law Enforcement Agencies in the fight against organised crime and corruption, notably focusing on State level Law Enforcement Agencies, on enhancement of the interaction between police and prosecutor and on regional and international cooperation.” Within a separate tasks section on “accountability”, EUPM was essentially tasked to conduct “inspections in order to identify systemic deficiencies in relation to inspection and accountability procedures and propose solutions to BiH authorities”.

From the perspective of the above, one could raise the question whether towards the period 2010 onwards there existed an understanding of a positive development in relation to accountable policing, allowing for even more focussing on aspects of assistance in the fight against organised crime and corruption.

In January 2009, EUPM dedicated an edition of its own “Mission Magazine” to the topic accountability⁠8. Mission Magazine 56 pointed to EUPM’s understanding the term and general understanding of police accountability as being split between (1) an internal dimension – the conduct of police officers, and an (2) external dimension – “the performance of the police service toward its citizens, ideally, the citizens would be the ones to engage in the determination of said targets and the performance assessment of their police service⁠9”.

EUPM’s functional understanding as of 2009 (and before) is confirmed within the United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime (UNODC) 2011 “Handbook on police accountability, oversight and integrity”⁠10, where one also finds a definition of the term itself: “…accountability is defined as a system of internal and external checks and balances aimed at ensuring that police carry out their duties properly and are held responsible if they fail to do so. Such a system is meant to uphold police integrity and deter misconduct and to restore or enhance public confidence in policing. Police integrity refers to normative and other safeguards that keep police from misusing their powers and abusing their rights and privileges.

Following this distinction into internal and external dimensions, EUPM’s activities can be grouped into two lines of action: (1) EUPM conducted a greater number of inspections on various issues, shared the results with domestic counterparts, and monitored their implementation. (2) EUPM invested a very high amount of work into the assistance on legal and regulatory matters related to law enforcement on all administrative levels that form the framework of any police accountability, both internal and external. This legal and regulatory work of EUPM existed already during the early years of EUPM, and continued to do so until its end.

EUPM’s assistance on strengthening the internal dimension of accountability of the police was yielding results, including by way of conducting inspections. Domestic law enforcement was increasingly becoming able to decisively tackle own affection by crime and corruption⁠11. However, towards the end of EUPM’s life significant challenges surfaced in the realm of legal mechanisms that ensure the external dimension of accountability of police in a larger system of governance, and towards citizens. The visible face of these challenges are political discussions attempting to change an accountability system that was established by the International Community before 2002. More underneath the visible discussion remains the long term need to further develop and deepen a fundamental democratic system of values, on which any legal framework rests.

EUPM’s early work on legal frameworks happened within the larger context related to the international community’s engagement “post Dayton”, notably the role of the OHR and the United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF). EUPM followed on at a time when, under the mandate of a strong OHR (reinforced with the arrival of Lord Paddy Ashdown in 2002), the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) was being followed and the reform agenda was progressing with a high amount of energy on the side of the International Community. All this happened in the complex domestic political reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Preventing political interference in operational police work has been one of the major principles strictly defended by EUPM, following on to IPTF that had worked on this principle before: The reality of a previously communist policing system and culture, already in transition but then affected by war, forced the International Community into decisive and coercive steps. Downsizing of police forces from estimated 80.000 post-war to approximately 17.000 by 2002, sanitising ranks (known as the de-certification process) and establishing a legal framework that shielded the Police from political influence were the bold tasks of those days. In this context, the changes within the legal framework effectively turned the system upside down in relation to pre-war command&control structures: Compliance with a new legal framework was made a pre-condition for certifying police agencies.

In the Federation of BiH, Laws on Internal Affairs (LIA) regulate the institutional issues related to status and functioning of the Ministries of Interiors and Administration of Police as well as their institutional competencies and authorities of the Ministers and Director of Police/Police Commissioners (DoP/PC). Therefore, LIA exist, and were developed, on entity and cantonal level. Together with “Laws on Police Officials” (LoPO) they establish the governance context  for law enforcement. The LIA also include provisions as per cooperation with other institutions and other administrative matters i.e staffing issues, by-laws etc. and prescribe in detail the selection and appointment procedure of the Director of Police/Police Commissioner.⁠12

The Republica Srpska authorities adopted a draft LIA in 2003⁠13, which kept the provisions related to Independent Selection and Review Boards (ISRB), which were included in the previous LIA from 1998.

In Brcko District exists a “Law on Police of Brcko District”, addressing the same topical issues as LIA do on entity and cantonal level, but with specific reference to the specific situation in the District, namely that the Chief of the Brcko District Police answers directly to the Mayor of Brcko District. A LoPO, identical to those in other BiH jurisdictions, exists too.

On State level, the legal framework for police is mainly characterised by laws that establish the respective law enforcement agencies (e.g. Law on Border Police, Law on State Investigation and Protection Agency etc.), and one Law on Police Officials (LoPO) for all agencies. Aspects of specific agencies that would, on entity and cantonal level, be regulated in LIA, can therefore be found within the laws establishing the individual State level agency. Aspects of the Ministry of Security are regulated in general laws, unlike on cantonal and entity level, where the LIA cover these aspects too.

Following the post-Dayton development, including the establishment of State level institutions only at a later stage⁠14, the development of the legal and regulatory framework for the police therefore happened in sequences, with the development on entity and cantonal level being the first, and oldest.

As already indicated before, the concept of Police Commissioners (PC) and Directors of Police (DoP) independence from Ministers of Interior (MoI) and their selection by Independent Boards (ISRB) was new for the BiH policing system and externally imposed and implemented by the IPTF. MoIs were formally and forcefully detached from police power. More precisely, the ISRB system was introduced with the imposed amendments by the High Representative in 2002 at FBiH, cantonal and Brcko levels and with adopted amendments to RS LIA during duration of the mandate of UNMIBH. Although State Border Service (later Border Police) was already existing at that time and SIPA was also established later on, no ISRB was established at State level until adoption of Police Reforms Laws⁠15 in 2008, which established the DPC and other support agencies, in addition to an Independent Board, Citizens Complaints Board, and Board for Complaints of Police Officials for state level agencies.

The LoPO was first adopted at State level in 2005, which was followed up at FBiH level in the same year. Starting from 2006 until 2008, LoPOs were adopted at Brcko and cantonal level. Harmonizations of LoPOs were completed as of 2010 with the adoption of RS LoPO.

The new Law on Border Police was adopted in 2004, which was followed also by the adoption of a Law on SIPA in the same year, through which SIPA became an investigation agency. The principles of these State level laws as per legal and budgetary status of the police were among the inspiring elements for adoption of a new FLIA in 2005, in addition to necessity of harmonizing the 2002 version of FLIA, which had been imposed by HR, with the adopted FLoPO in 2005.  The new FLIA that was adopted in 2005 kept the provisions related to ISRB.

An initiative of revising CLIAs was launched in 2007, but due to the substance of the presented concept as well as different views on crucial features of the draft, and despite an intense engagement of the International Community  under EUPM’s technical coordination, CLIAs were adopted only in Canton 3 (Tuzla) and Canton 5 (Gorazde) in 2010. Within the Federation and in all other cantons only a drafting stage was reached. Since end 2008, EUPM reinforced further and systematic efforts to assist in harmonisation of LIA and LoPO, and incorporated this into the Mission Implementation Plan.

In April 2011, following the election period of 2010, cantonal Ministers of Interior and the Minister of Interior of the Federation launched a new initiative of harmonisation. This initiative was intended to make the drafting process of the FLIA and the CLIAs a main priority within police legal and regulatory framework issues. To the surprise of some, a different accent to the substance of the draft was introduced into the public discussion, emphasizing the need for improved “civilian oversight”, and assuring safeguards on “operational autonomy” of the police. EUPM continued with its policy of technical assistance and was consulted on whether the new aspects, namely the intent to increase accountability of Police Commissioners/Directors towards Ministers would be in line with EU viewpoints⁠16.

During the same time period, EUPM observed development within some ISRB that gave raise to the question as to whether any system that is designed for ensuring accountability can, in the long run, function without being incorporated into a larger system of checks and balances⁠17: Inter alia, in late 2010 EUPM monitored and supported “Operation KASTEL”, a large scale investigation into the involvement of some senior leadership of the Police of Una-Sana Canton, including the Police Commissioner himself, into organised crime, corruption, and other forms of crime. The subsequent arrests shook the system and created BiH-wide long-lasting attention. On a local level the Minister of Interior undertook visible efforts to cope with this situation. He kept close contact to EUPM leadership. At later stages of the CLIA reform discussion, he and other Ministers of Interior referenced this case when pointing at the accountability deficiencies that they correctly perceived⁠18: Operation KASTEL includes allegations that the then Police Commissioner successfully corrupted the ISRB, safeguarding the ISRBs support for his second term⁠19 of Office.

An example on a structural level for EUPMs concerns can be demonstrated by reference to an existing ISRB: The President of this ISRB is a Chief Prosecutor in the same jurisdiction; the Deputy President is the President of the Appellate Court of that jurisdiction; one member is a Police Commissioner of a neighboring jurisdiction; another one a Deputy Director of a State level law enforcement agency and former Police Commissioner of a neighboring jurisdiction; another member is a former Chief of a neighboring Public Security Center/RS MoI, just two members are civilian representatives.  This ISRB showed malfunctions in 2011 when three members launched reports against each other.

The declared intention of the move by Ministers of Interior on Federation and cantonal level on how to redesign lines of accountability of Heads of police agencies was to address the relation between Police Commissioners / the Federation Director of the Police Administration and respective Ministers of Interior. The core can be best described through what Federal MoI Kurteš himself stated in a meeting with EUPM HoM⁠20: “There is not much to change, except for a clear statement that the Minister is No 1 in the Ministry and that the DoP/PC shall be answerable to him. The problem is with decreasing authority of the ministers and failing coordination, and the reason is not the Law, rather the vanity of police chiefs and ministers.”

The intended reform set the stage for diametrically opposed assessments on the motivation behind. All too often dogmatic and fundamental views dominated, too rare were occasions when substance was discussed: For some, the reform aimed at increasing accountability of the system governing policing, whilst explicitly stressing the operational independence of the police; for others the motivation behind was nothing more and nothing less than the blunt attempt to exert undue political influence over the police: To politicise policing. EUPM agreed with the assessment that policing was more and more politicised, but reminded internally of the fact that amongst those who declared that their intent was to safeguard the Police from undue political influence, there was considerable political motivation along the line of political parties dominating the scene in the Federation of BiH: An increasingly antagonistic stance developed between so-called “platform parties”, mainly the SDA and the SDP. Both Ministers and some Heads of police agencies appeared to exchange political arguments along the line of their respective political affiliation⁠21.

Typical socio-psychological reactions of individuals and groups to fundamental reform and change⁠22 add: The reform initiative aimed (and aims) at changing accountability procedures that were created under the UN IPTF and the OHR until 2002. Thus, Police Commissioners and the Director of the Federation Police were confronted with a ministerial intent to make them answerable to them, which was not the case for more than ten years. EUPM observed several long-lasting examples of strained relationships between a Minister and a Police Director or Police Commissioner, at times beyond acceptable limits⁠23, at times even including publicly visible hostility and proxy-wars conducted through media.

By the end of 2011, the differences of opinion and related issues regarding Law on Internal Affairs (LIAs), both at Cantonal and Federation level, had not changed much, in particular those to do with the ministerial level versus police commissioners/directors. However, EUPM had used its advisory role with the law enforcement agencies and succeeded in encouraging the Federal and Canton Sarajevo Ministers of Interior to submit their drafts for opinion to the European Commission for Democracy through Law, called the Venice Commission. Further to this EU perspective, the EU Delegation suggested to domestic counterparts to slow down speed, to allow for and to accept advice.

The Venice Commission’s assessments on the draft FLIA and Canton 9 LIA are publicly available⁠24. The Commission’s opinion was quickly absorbed into most favorable public interpretation of either side. On occasion of frequent requests from interested media to have EUPM commenting on this, EUPM reminded to carefully assess the substance, and to recognise that the Venice Commission had not concluded that the draft laws were inflicting on the contested operational independence of the police. Rather, the Commission had welcomed the draft laws⁠25.

Essentially, the public discussions towards the end of 2011 and throughout the first months of 2012 brought more visibility to the fundamental political reason for the conflict: Disparities between the platform parties of SDA and SDP over the federal and cantonal LIAs proposed by SDP Ministers of Interior brought a new crisis to the Federal coalition government in mid November. The BiH Minister of Security (SDA), and other top SDA party officials sharply criticized SDP’s legislative initiative. In return, the Federal Prime Minister (PM), (SDP), answered back that it was scandalous for an SDA member of the state parliament and SDA vice-president to state that “the police commissioner/director should be responsible to the Independent Board, to the parliament, maybe to the government, but…not to the minister”. The Federal PM qualified this as an undemocratic statement and the proposal that the Police should not be answerable to the Interior Minister as unprecedented in the European practices. It is fair to summarize that leading political parties alleged each other of attempting to increase political control over the Police.

According to EUPM’S record, police commissioners/directors of police and political office holders use to swap regularly and this appears to be the case for all current commissioners. There is an obvious dependence of incumbents of senior police functions from political parties or interests. In an overall political environment with most political parties formed along ethno-political lines such a regular swapping tends to even increase the politicization of police work.

The Independent Selection and Review Board (ISRB) proved to be heavily politicized as well. The ISRB proved to be ineffective and unable to exercise their review role and hold commissioners accountable. In this perceived vacuum in the system of accountability ministers attempted to fill in.

The ensuing EUPM internal discussion shaped even more the clear formulation of policy⁠26. This process involved, to a considerable extent, coordinating activities within the EU and larger International Community. In essence, EUPM kept maintaining a position that focussed on guiding principles that were justified by International and European standards and requirements. EUPM was wary of not getting drawn on either domestic battling side⁠27, as was frequently attempted. A comprehensive dialogue within the International Community continued to confirm a joint view on important principles such as (1) “operational independence”, (2) accompanying requirements of the side of financial, human and material resources that enable exercising this independence, and (3) strong statements on policing accountability.

As a result of the process towards the end of 2011 and throughout the transitional months of 2012, notably taking into account the most important and helpful analysis of the draft LIA by the Venice Commission, EUPM was able to publicly shape its policy position on pressing problems governing police. Subsequently, EUPM devised a communication strategy, on HoM level, that led to a systematic communication of this policy through the media⁠28.

In conclusion, the process of reform of the legal and regulatory framework within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is key for maintaining, sometimes even restoring, and increasing accountability of police, whilst ensuring their operational independence. The political controversy in which some Heads of police agencies have taken a political side is far from over. Rather, at the time of this writing (May 2012), lines of conflict run deeper than ever, with visible hostility on the side of some Heads of police agencies towards relevant Ministers. Still, in some quarters the wish to solve this problem through international engagement is existing, but decisively rejected within the EU. A democratic discussion of relevant principles is in a political gridlock. The sincerity of motivation by some domestic actors has become an increasing concern of EUPM.

The development has led to an ever increasing EU synchronization in order to ensure consistency and coherence of messages, across actors and over time, including beyond the end of EUPM’s mandate. At this stage, the attempted domestic reform issue may get stuck in the fierce resistance by some players, which may lead, in turn, to further erosion on accountability of police forces, especially in the Federation. On the other side, if the reform progresses and manages to shape a public discussion on the role and accountability of police, it may well have larger implications within Bosnia and Herzegovina, by way of harmonisation. There is a an important view expressed by some Ministers of the Interior to EUPM HoM throughout 2011, referencing the objective of the reform to the situation within the Republica Srpska: On a technical level, the degree of accountability of that system is perceived as being better, by those Ministers within the Federation.

The development documented in this chapter is an example for the surfacing of a longer lasting challenge for BiH: The technical implementation of mechanisms for governance of policing can be achieved within the timeframe that was available in BiH from after the conflict until now. However, sustainability of any achievements depends on  cultivating underlying values. The development of a genuine domestic understanding of the guiding principles and values that shall guide the implementation of democratic governance is a process which, in the case of transformation of post-communistic societies, is requiring more time: EUPM has contributed to the technical development, and could make valuable contribution to the underlying democratisation process. However, the societal and political development in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will ensure sustainability of efforts by way of firmly implementing the necessary underlying values, requires other tools of assistance.

In BiH, the fragility of the achievements in the realm of accountability of policing is a direct function of the many years of deterioration of political dialogue between 2006 and 2012, with the absence of a State level government for 16 months until beginning of 2012. The increasing political selfishness has led to attempts to control the system, including by those who declare their good intention protecting it. The deeply rooted tradition to manipulate the public through media and the absence of strong civil society are conducive to such attempts.

However, an application of external coercive instruments is not an option: The potential of a structured dialogue within the EU accession context will greatly assist, on a technical level, related experiences within the Visa-Liberalisation process refer. An assistance to the development of a deeper and long-term strategy is recommended, focussing on values and relevant education. A begin to this could be made through putting the Rule of Law/Police Section of the EUSR to good use.

1 Attachment 1

2 As an example, reference can be made to systematic assessments of police agencies by the United Nations International Police Task Force (UN IPTF), called “Systems Analysis of the Police” at the end of its mandate, late 2002. Attachment 2 includes two examples, for the Federation and the Republica Srpska Administrations of Police.

3 Document st14035/05 RESTREINT UE, 04 November 2005

4 “The ultimate political goal is for BiH to join the EU as a sustainable, multi-ethnic, peaceful and democratic state. In the medium term, it is to set BiH irreversibly on track for EU membership within the SAP process. To achieve this objective, strengthening the rule of law and the development of an effective, independent and accountable police service (as identified by the Police Restructuring Commission) are crucial. In this context, success in the fight against organised crime is likely to be one of the determining factors in BiH’s progress towards Europe.”

5 Document st13592/07 RESTREINT UE, 08 October 2007

6 Emphasis by the author

7 Document st15419/11 RESTREINT UE, 14 July 2009

8 Attachment 3 – Mission Magazine 56 of 19 January 2009. The EUPM Mission Mag enjoys a large distribution and readership, within national and international circles. It is published bi-weekly and can be found under http://www.eupm.org. Often, articles from the Mission Magazine will be reprinted within domestic press.

9 Ibid

10 Attachment 4 –

http://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/crimeprevention/PoliceAccountability_Oversight_and_Integrity_10-57991_Ebook.pdf – United Nations, New York, 2011, ISBN 978-92-1-130307-0, eISBN 978-92-1-055037-6

11 See EUPM’s Six Monthly Reports for the period between 2009 and 2011, and reference to it in the chapter “On Institutionalised Cooperation”

12 EUPM promoted LIA templates, through strengthening legal and budgetary status of the Police as well as further detailing the provisions on cooperation issues, aiming to provide conditions for functioning of the Police in an operationally autonomous manner, while also substantially enhancing the authorities of the Minister and Government, to which Police should be fully accountable, in order to ensure a proper civilian oversight over the Police.

13 That version of RS LIA remained in force until January 2012, when a new RS LIA came into force. The new RS LIA is prepared to harmonize the LIA with the other legislation, especially with the RS LoPO that was adopted in 2010. The new RS LIA still kept the provisions related to ISRB and did not introduce any changes in the organizational structure of the Ministry and authorities of the Minister and Director of Police.

14 For example: Establishment of State Border Police (later renamed to Border Police) in 2000; Ministry of Security 2003/2004; State Investigation and Protection Agency in 2004, Service for Foreigners Affairs 2006; Directorate for the Coordination of Police Bodies in BiH 2008.

15 Law on Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies and Agencies for Support to Police Structure of BiH and Law on Independent and Supervisory Bodies of Police Structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina

16 EUPM confirmed this in essence, outlining guiding principles, including through statements and speeches which HoM was invited to give. The harmonization of related views within the larger International Community proved to be more intensive. Throughout 2011, some differences in these views became publicly known through a combination of public statements.

17 For example, EUPM argued for an increased role of civil society and put a lot of efforts into the support to its development. The role of civil society, crucial for any transparent oversight over governance, including in this context, or, e.g. in the context of corruption, remains underdeveloped in Bosnia And Herzegovina.

18 Some were, in meetings to which EUPM was invited throughout 2011, internally and also in presence of the media, very vocal about the lack of accountability, and quality of service delivery, in the case of some Police Commissioners, and in relation to the structural weakness of the system allowing this, in general.

19 At the time of writing, the case is pending, therefore EUPM will not be in a position referencing to details.

20 2 June 2011

21 In several one-on-one conversations between HoM and domestic partners they confirmed this.

22 Which always creates fear, sometimes only because change is perceived as a threat to security, but also because change threatens structures that have arranged themselves comfortably.

23 Notoriously, and even with entirely different setups of Ministers and Directors, in the Federation. Likewise, the relationship between Police Commissioner and Minister in Canton 9 (Sarajevo) worsened beyond reasonable limits in 2010 and 2011.

24 http://www.venice.coe.int/site/dynamics/N_Opinion_ef.asp?L=E&OID=649

25 For several of such interviews, here the quotation of what HoM stated in an interview by “Slobodna Bosna”, 12 April 2012: I note how domestic stakeholders interpret in different ways what the Venice Commission has written. There is a considerable difference between how interested parties see the Commission’s opinion. My view is that the Venice Commission did not say this is the best law that we have seen so far, but the Venice Commission said that it is acceptable within the framework of European practice and within the framework of drafting the laws. The Commission has also said there are parts that could be done better. But, it has not said that the draft law is about the imposition of political will.

26 HoM had concluded policy discussions by way of written guidance already at earlier stages.

27 Including through a considerable number of written letters that were sent, by the Federation Director of the Police Administration and the Police Commissioner of Canton 9 to a large number of recipients within the International Community, alleging Ministers of exerting undue political influence, and even a criminal complaint filed by the Police Commissioner of Canton 9 against the Minister of Interior of Canton 9 on abuse of office, in March 2012.

28 As prominent examples, three items are referenced: (1) Early February 2012, HoM contributed an Editorial to a leading BiH newspaper (Oslobojenje) on “Governing the Police” which was reprinted within other media and also in EUPM’s own Mission Magazine (attachment 5). (2) 09 April 2012, HoM went on public record in the Banja Luka-based newspaper Nezavisne Novine (attachment 6). Finally (3), the same message was repeated in a comprehensive manner within the Sarajevo-based weekly magazine Slobodna Bosna, 12 April 2012 (attachment 7). The articles found widespread attention and were reprinted in electronic media.

Accountability of the Police, and operational independence of policing from political influence

This text is based on a version that I wrote in my capacity as Head of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia&Herzegovina, in 2012. I replaced the specific links to this amazing and so much torn country on the Western Balkans with more general contexts. What came out of it has deep relevance to everything I am doing these days.
“The rule of law is a principle basing the relationship between citizens and authorities on a legal framework rather than the arbitrary execution of power. It ensures that any government action is based on law and legality. As the late British Judge Tom Bingham describes it: “All persons and authorities within the state, whether public or private, should be bound by and entitled to the benefit of laws publicly made, taking effect (generally) in the future and publicly administered in the courts.“
Law is made by a political process. The application of law is ensured by an apolitical system of governance. Actions of police and other parts of the executive are governed by this law. These laws are the only basis and set the limits of democratic policing. The limits of policing are also to be found in international human rights norms, such as the European Convention of Human Rights which is directly applicable law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When police interacts with citizens, all actions have to be within the legal framework set for those interaction. No questioning of a witness or a suspect, no arrest, no seizure of evidence may happen without a legal framework providing for it. No arrest, interrogation or search must happen on political request or undue influence.
It is the very fact that interactions of the police with citizens are bound by law which constitutes the basis for the principle of “operational independence”. Because the law has no space for political interpretation, the police applies the law without political interference, but based on the principle of legality.
The police must also act on concerns and requests of citizens. Setting policing policies is part of government action and requires strategic political decisions. The professional conduct of police is based on modern values cultivated by leadership. Leadership has to lead by example.
This requires responsible education and training. Policing as a service is consuming public resources. For all this, and more, the police must account for. Thus, operational independence and adherence to the law does not exempt the police from being accountable on administrative and managerial levels, within a larger system of governance. All parts of
public administration, including the police, are part of the executive branch, and as such, policing is also subject to legitimate policy discussions. This is necessary to reflect the interests and demands the citizens channeled through the democratic process. Police action is therefore also subject to the scrutiny of the courts.
Appropriate solutions must integrate the police into a reliable framework of accountability. In all situations where the International Community assists in the reestablishment of governance, affected by conflict, broken down as a consequence of conflict, or having been part of the conflict, a home-grown solution ensuring accountability has to be found. In our assistance to the establishment of sustainable policing arrangements and the rule of law in countries affected by conflict, international policing is monitoring and advising on the establishment of a better system of law enforcement.
Such a system is the true cornerstone of the rule of law. We respect the political discussions about the legal framework that govern the work of the police. Law is never static. Its development is an important element of democratic life. In the resulting democratic discourse, international policing assistance is not party and cannot take sides.
Our role relates to whether a law meets requirements, standard, and best practice. A political discussion whether lawmakers are motivated by the right spirit, or not, is not a discussion in which international policing has a public place. However, we raise our voices internally, in true partnership with those who we assist.
Publicly, we may assess whether any of the laws in question does contribute to a legal framework in a manner that is reflecting international standards, and international principles. We also monitor and assess whether practical action of authorities, be it police, criminal justice system, or ministries, adhere to text and spirit of the law, to the rule of law and to the principles of democratic governance.
We encourage that the actors in the political arena lead a discussion in an open, fair, factual and transparent manner. A meaningful discussion needs to involve consultation of all stakeholders, and the general public. This will allow for a discussion about substance which should replace rhetoric. This applies also to stakeholders from the police. We expect and see that police is invited to contribute their opinion as experts.
Experts should limit their contributions to expertise and refrain from participating in the political exchange of arguments. Otherwise, important factual contributions get blurred in political rhetoric undermining the credibility of the arguments.
The area of justice, liberty and security is a particularly important field for the rule of law. The ability to discuss and pass relevant legislation remains an important test for the maturity of any democracy.”

On Peace, Justice, and Security

The easy but important stuff first: Linking this blog to important pieces that I have published in my official capacities.

November 26, 2014, I published the following text in The Huffington Post, where it appeared as “An Insider’s View on UN Policing” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefan-feller/an-insiders-view-on-un-po_b_6278716.html).

The underlying schemes will resonate through, I guess, many entries that I will be publishing here: Which are the common denominators that should define policing, police institutions, and justice institutions? In Kosovo between 2000 and 2004, I was in command for on average 4.500 police officers who were sent to the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) from up to 54 different countries from all around the world. It was my first experience with what it means to establish an international police organisation from scratch, with no blueprint. Moreover, this Police within UNMIK was supposed to be the real Police in Kosovo: The former Police had been a brutal and repressive element of Milosevic’s regime, and had participated in abuse, oppression, and atrocities. So they had to leave after the NATO air strike was successful. Which left Kosovo without ANY policing, apart from illegal structures that sprang up like mushrooms. There never is a void that is left unfilled…

It was my first experience with what it means to harmonise different approaches, cultures, understandings, values, education, managerial styles, operational practice, and tactical engagement. For the outsider it looked like a “Mission Impossible”, and yes, it was daunting, by all accounts. But it was also, in my view, surprisingly successful.

On basis of many similar experiences thereafter, a network of likeminded friends and I, who had been in command of such operations, identified the most pressing task: What is the least common denominator for policing that we all should accept, wherever we come from?

The below article gives actual insight in where we are on that. However, it is no coincidence that I wrote this article as well at a time during which I witness an intense discussion on Police accountability on occasion of incidents which happened lately in Ferguson, New York, and Cleveland. I am witnessing a fundamental discussion here in the U.S., one in which these incidents are perceived as results of a disguised racism, and insufficient accountability. The public reaction is encouraging, a large and peaceful movement has expressed the views of many citizens, white and coloured alike. Last weekend, I walked up Fifth Avenue in New York as a part of what the press describes as 25.000 peaceful protesters.

2014-12-13 14.53.22 HDR

I am witnessing much more, and all that is profoundly encouraging. So, here my piece in the Huffington Post:

“Justice is both a concept and a function sitting at the core of any society. Whichever form it takes, it contributes to the fundamental connection of an individual or a community to the larger whole. We may take our understanding of justice as a given, or we may even assume that the specific understanding that we grew up with should apply to all others. The reality is that justice comes in many different conceptual shapes, and forms, based on ethical or moral values, or a combination thereof. The world is an arena for different forms of justice and judicial concepts, within larger ideological and secular and religious frameworks. These memes coexist, they compete, at times they fight each other.

As a value in itself, it is inextricably linked to the absence of it, to injustice. Here, things become challenging: Injustice may for example occur if an individual is not treated in a just way. Being treated “justly” includes appropriateness of the rules one is subjected to and that the given rules are universally applied. Equally important is that the feeling of whether an individual or a group is treated “justly”, or not, is often based on complex and very subjective perceptions. What matters most is that injustice, or the perception of injustice, creates the feeling that one does not belong. In my line of work, United Nations Peace Operations, this often is one factor leading to violent conflicts and the difficulty to move from conflict to lasting stability and peace.

The same holds true for security: security and insecurity, as well as the subjective perception of whether to feel secure or insecure, are critically important for any development of lasting peace. Individual members and communities define their belonging to a society including through whether they are safe, and that their concerns on safety and security are appropriately addressed by the society to which they belong.

Therefore, institutions of governance which provide security and adjudicate justice are of critical importance for development into lasting peace and security. For the United Nations, conflict prevention and sustainable peace comprises measures for the prevention of (armed) conflict and addressing its root causes, including through strengthening the rule of law, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, gender equality and respect for, and protection of, human rights.

The United Nations is looking back on almost 55 years of deploying international police into peace operations. There are currently over 13,000 UN police from ninety-one Member States of the UN in eighteen peace operations all over the world. We operate globally, in the harshest, most challenging and most dangerous environments. We take casualties. We live in those communities where we contribute to their re-establishing forms of governance that lead to lasting peace. We protect vulnerable communities and individuals being targeted by violence and victimized by the abuse of power. In this, more recently, peacekeepers including police officers have become direct targets of those who try to deprive communities of their right to receive good governance. We face being in the cross-hairs of extremists and terrorism, as we are directly inhibiting their actions to suppress freedom and to subjugate communities under the reign of terror. We assist in the establishment of institutions of just and secure governance that contribute to lasting peace and security, after and during violent conflict. We face the menacing nexus between transnational organized crime and extremism and terror, and the often endemic corruption on which both can thrive.

We have learned the hard way which policing concepts work, for security and justice, and which do not. Consequently, we have put our experiences into a consultative process that, literally, includes the world. Our distilled essence is a policy that is based profoundly on what the Global Community understands as the common denominator of policing. On that basis we continue to shape how to promote this form of UN policing. Naturally, this relates to the peace operations in which we take risks. But what we say is also relevant for all police-related policy discussions, simply because we all agree to it.

On 20 November 2014, the United Nations Security Council had its first ever thematic discussion on policing and peace operations. In an overwhelming show of engagement, every member of the Security Council took the floor. The Security Council unanimously voted for its Resolution 2185 which stressed the importance of international policing in peace operations and requested that the Secretary-General further promote professionalism, effectiveness and system-wide coherence in the policing-related work of the United Nations, including through the development and implementation of standards and guidance through the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping. Likewise, the relevant Committees of the UN General Assembly, forming the voice of all 193 United Nations Member States, appreciate both the comprehensive consultative approach and the relevance of this framework for international police peace operations.

So, what is the essence of what we have learned? Our growing repository of guidance can be found online (For starters: See here). It is based on a core principle that can be found in our policy framework, which is fundamentally supported by all Member States, whichever form of justice and security they choose, whatever their culture, history and societal values:

In accordance with United Nations standards, every police or other law enforcement agency should be representative of and responsive and accountable to the community it serves.

Police and law enforcement officials have the obligation to respect and protect Human Rights, including the right to life, liberty and security of person as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant international instruments. Pursuant to the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, police and other law enforcement officials are required at all times to fulfil the duty imposed upon them by law, by serving the community and by protecting all persons against illegal acts, consistent with the high degree of responsibility required by their profession.

Policing must be entrusted to police or other law enforcement agencies of a national, regional or local government, within a legal framework that is based on the rule of law. Thus, the police are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. Policing the police requires measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency.

As the police adviser to the United Nations, I believe that every serious discussion about the relationship between the society and the policing model that a society chooses for itself needs to be informed by these guiding principles.”