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Rafales over Bosnia-Herzegovina. As a warning

(B2) French Rafale aircraft from the carrier group of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle should carry out flights over the Balkans, in particular Bosnia-Herzegovina from this Monday (March 7), we learn from a European source. A preventive mission against any desire for destabilization.

Catapulting a marine burst from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle, from the Mediterranean Sea on February 10, 2022. (Photo: SIRPA Marine)

A show of force to reassure and deter

These flights are qualified quick reaction trainer » but they have a very political objective. Show the population, and in particular the Bosnian Serbs tempted by separatist fever, that the French are indeed determined to intervene in the event of a problem. What we call a show of strength. NB: this exercise was not normally included in the program (at least in the file distributed to the press).

A risk of destabilization

The risk of destabilization is, in fact, not negligible in Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to an assessment given recently by the operation commander of EUFOR Althea, General Brice Houdet. To the point that the Europeans decided at the end of February to urgently trigger the reserve. This will make it possible to double the numbers on site for the EU military stabilization operation in place since 2004 (Read: The EUFOR Althea reserve called in as reinforcements in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The fear of Russian contagion (Josep Borrell)).

500 more soldiers on site

Four land companies, coming from Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, i.e. around 500 men, began to deploy, supplementing the numbers already on site made up mainly of Turks and Hungarians. According to our information, the Slovaks are to send a company of 121 men from the 52nd airborne battalion from Trebišov, which is part of the special operations forces, is being deployed. At a time when the security balance in Europe is shaken, the Union wants “ thereby demonstrating its continued commitment and determination to support a safe and secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans ».

A preventive deployment

It is also a matter of showing the Russians that the Europeans are not fools. At a time when the security balance in Europe is shaken, the European Union wants “ thereby demonstrating its continued commitment and determination to support a safe and secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans ».

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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