Albanian Daily News
West urges Bosnia to set up joint border police

Albanian Economic Tribune - Jan 12, 2000

SARAJEVO - The Western body overseeing the Bosnian peace process on Tuesday urged parliament to adopt legislation creating a state border service, saying it was crucial if the country wanted to become part of Europe.

Spokeswoman Alexandra Stiglmayer for the Office of the High Representative said such a multi-ethnic body was needed to fight smuggling and illegal immigration into the Balkan state, which consists of a Serb republic and a Moslem-Croat federation.

The issue has caused controversy especially in Bosnia’s Serb half, with nationalists there fearing it would reduce autonomy for their territory.

The lower house of state parliament failed to adopt the draft law at its latest session in December because of Bosnian Serb opposition. The assembly will meet again on Wednesday.

Stiglmayer said Bosnia must take control of its borders, which have around 400 different crossings - often in mountainous and remote areas.

"It will never become part of Europe if its borders remain as porous as they are now," she told reporters. "We do hope that common sense will prevail."

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