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Fewer troops in Bosnia leads to change in name

Brig. Gen. John von Trott unrolls the new Multinational Brigade North flag. Multinational Division North officially changed the name to "brigade" on Friday.

IVANA AVRAMOVIC / S&S

By IVANA AVRAMOVIC | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 4, 2003

EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Bosnia and Herzegovina took another step in the peace process Friday as troops unfurled the flag of Multinational Brigade North.

The change was brought about by the reduction of the forces, which were formerly known as Multinational Division North.

“I am very happy to be here today as we reach another milestone in the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Lt. Gen. William Ward, Stabilization Forces commander, during Friday’s ceremony.

Seven years ago, more than 62,000 international peacekeepers arrived in Bosnia after a three-year war ravaged the country.

Today, there are about 12,000 troops.

The last troop reductions were completed in September, when Brig. Gen. John von Trott became the first one-star commander of Multinational Division North.

“SFOR successes have only been possible by the effort of its most precious resources: soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines and civilians,” Ward said. But “SFOR’s mission is not complete. Not yet.”

The other two sectors, Multinational Division Southeast and Multinational Division Southwest, had already switched to brigade level.

Other changes in the region include the European Union taking over policing duties from the United Nations; Danish soldiers joining American and Finish troops at Eagle Base; and Danish soldiers relieving American troops in three municipalities in northeastern Bosnia.


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