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BosNet Digest V5 #12 / Jan. 7, 1996

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@SMS.BUSINESS.UWO.CA>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] OVERVIEW OF THE DAYTON ACCORDS (Summary) (Part I)

  • [02] SUMMARY

  • [03] MILITARY PROVISIONS (Annex 1-A and Annex 1-B)


  • [01] OVERVIEW OF THE DAYTON ACCORDS (Summary) (Part I)

    THE BALKAN INSTITUTE

    December 22, 1995
    Balkan Institute Reference Series
    Number 1

    Overview of the Dayton Peace Accords (Signed December 14, 1995, in Paris)

    [02] SUMMARY

    The Dayton Peace Accords provide foreign powers, as represented by the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and other bodies, with broad authority over civilian, military, and political activities in the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RBH). They also provide for a fundamental social, military, and political transformation of the RBH, which is to be replaced by a new state, "Bosnia and Herzegovina" (BH).(1) BH is to consist of two Entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBH) and the Republika Srpska (RS).

    Key elements of the Accords:

    The Dayton Accords grant IFOR virtually complete discretion to control any military activity and to take police actions in BH. IFOR's authority to use force primarily concerns the enforcement of a no-fly zone over BH and the separation of the forces of the RBH, FBH, and RS along a "Zone of Separation" (ZS) between the FBH and RS.(2) While IFOR is granted broad authority to take military action at its discretion in order to enforce compliance with military and non-military provisions of the Accords, it is not obliged to take any such action. The Accords do not explicitly provide guidelines or means for enforcement of their military provisions or the military activities of the FBH or RS after IFOR has terminated its mission. The IFOR mission is estimated to last approximately one year. The Accords do not explicitly provide for the stationing of troops at any point on BH's international borders.

    The Accords provide guidelines, but not enforcement mechanisms, for the overall level of military forces allocated to BH, the FBH, RS, Croatia, and the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia"(3) (FRY), which are to negotiate numerical limits on their holdings of heavy weapons.(4) These parties are not to import heavy weapons for 180 days after the signing of the Accords or until a negotiated agreement is reached whichever is the earlier.(5) If they do not reach such an agreement within 180 days of the signing of the Accords, an arms control regime is to be instituted. While requiring the FRY to build-down to 75% of its current holdings of heavy weapons, the regime is to preserve the FRY's regional military superiority by imposing weapons limits at a ratio of 5:2:2 for the FRY, Croatia, and BH, respectively. The BH allocation is to be divided between the FBH (two-thirds) and RS (one-third).

    Fifty-one percent of the RBH's territory, including Gorazde and all of Sarajevo, is to be allotted to the FBH. The remaining 49%, including Srebrenica and Zepa, is to be allotted to the RS. Control of the narrow "Brcko area,"(6) which links the RS's eastern and western territories, is to be resolved through an international, binding arbitration of one year. The FBH and the RS may mutually agree to further territorial exchanges.The Accords' constitutional arrangements provide for the legal continuation of the RBH as BH and avowedly provide for the preservation of the state's sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity. The central government's powers, however, are few in number, while those of its constituent Entities, the FBH and RS, more closely correspond to those of internationally recognized states. Actions by the central BH government can be vetoed by a minority of parliamentary deputies voting as an ethnic bloc. In addition, the government is given neither the means nor authority to compel compliance with any aspect of its constitution or other parts of the Accords. Indeed, in their provisions for the IFOR mission, the Accords explicitly prohibit efforts by BH or the FBH to enforce compliance on the part of the RS.

    The OSCE is to supervise but not conduct elections throughout BH between six and nine months after the signing of the Accords. BH citizens may vote where they were resident before the war. Refugees may vote in such districts in person or by absentee ballot. They may also apply to vote elsewhere. The FBH and RS are to ensure a "politically neutral environment" for the elections, but the Accords do not provide enforcement mechanisms or sanctions against the Entities if they do not cooperate.

    While the BH constitution and political system would ostensibly be democratic, ethnic quotas and ethnic veto powers are institutionalized at several levels. At the same time, the Accords do not provide for the elimination of political elements that have actively undermined the RBH's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence. While indicted war criminals are nominally barred from all public positions and the parties are to cooperate with the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal, the Accords would not prevent most Serbian ultra-nationalist leaders from continuing to exercise political, police, and military power in BH unless they were deposed in RS elections.

    Refugees are ostensibly to be free to return to their homes or be compensated if they cannot return to their property. The RBH, FBH, RS, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and states where BH refugees are currently located are to formulate a plan for the repatriation of refugees and displaced persons. Although the RBH, FBH, and RS are to terminate laws and activities that interfere with the return of refugees, there are no enforcement mechanisms or sanctions for non-cooperation.

    [03] MILITARY PROVISIONS (Annex 1-A and Annex 1-B)

    Obligations of the Parties (Annex 1-A)

    The Parties (here, the RBH, FBH, and RS) are to comply with the cease-fire agreement of October 5, 1995, and refrain from all offensive military actions, including any projection of forces or fire forward of a Party's own lines, or threats of such actions. The Parties are to cease the firing of all weapons and explosive devices except as authorized by the Accords or IFOR. The Parties are not to plant any additional mines or construct any additional barriers or protective obstacles. No military air traffic is to use BH airspace without IFOR authorization. Under "no circumstances" are the armed forces of either Entity to enter or remain in the territory of the other without the authorization of the latter and the BH Presidency. Neither Party is to take any action in retaliation for or in response to a violation of Annex 1-A. All armed forces in BH are to "operate consistently with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina." However, the Accords do not specify how actions are to be deemed inconsistent with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BH, nor do they provide mechanisms for enforcement or sanctions for non-compliance.

    The commands of units of the Bosnian Army, Bosnian Croat forces, and Bosnian Serb forces within 10 kilometers (km) of the Agreed Cease-Fire Line and inter-Entity boundaries are to co-locate with IFOR commands as determined by IFOR. No military weapons or explosives are to enter or remain within the ZS without IFOR authorization. No forces or heavy weapons are to remain or be deployed within two km of two interim routes between Gorazde and Sarajevo specified by the Accords while a new, two-lane, all-weather road link called for in the Accords is constructed. Military forces are only to utilize these routes with IFOR authorization and under IFOR management.

    The Parties are to cooperate with and provide unrestricted access to international personnel performing functions related to the implementation of the Accords. Immediately upon establishment of the Joint Military Commission (see subsection below), each Party is to provide the Commission with information on the positions and descriptions of all known explosives and other physical and military obstacles and hazards in BH. Each Party is to keep the Commission updated on changes in this information. In addition, the Parties and their armed forces are to comply with the following schedule:(7)

    By the end of 3 days after the signing of the Accords: Shut down all air defense systems and not reactivate them unless authorized by IFOR.

    By the end of 7 days after the Transfer of Authority: Vacate selected positions along the Sarajevo Agreed Cease-Fire Line as instructed by IFOR.

    By the end of 21 days after the signing of the Accords: Provide the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the other Parties, the Joint Military Commission, and the High Representative(8) complete lists of all military prisoners and civilians held in relation to the conflict.

    By the end of 30 days after the signing of the Accords: Forces and personnel not of local origin, regardless of their relationship to the Parties, are to withdraw from BH with their equipment.

    By the end of 30 days after the Transfer of Authority:

    • Disarm and disband all armed civilian groups other than authorized police forces
    • Withdraw all forces to their designated side of the ZS, which is to extend approximately two km to either side of the Agreed Cease-Fire Line. In Sarajevo, the ZS is to extend approximately one km to either side of the Line, but may be adjusted by IFOR.
    • Remove or destroy all mines, ordnance, explosives, and barbed wire from the ZS and areas from which forces are withdrawn or as otherwise required by IFOR, unless the deadline is extended by IFOR.
    • Mark the position of all mines, ordnance, and explosives within BH. In addition to other information requested by IFOR, provide the Joint Military Commission with comprehensive information on forces, weapons, mines, ordnance, explosives, military infrastructure, and barriers that are within 10 km of the Agreed Cease-Fire Line and inter-Entity boundaries; air defense weapons and all associated systems throughout BH; and mines, ordnance, explosives, weapons, and all other military equipment throughout BH that cannot be destroyed or dismantled. The Parties are to keep the Commission updated on changes in this information.
    • Release and transfer according to such a plan as may be developed by the ICRC all military prisoners and civilians held in relation to the conflict.

    By the end of 45 days after the Transfer of Authority: Vacate and clear territory where inter-Entity boundaries do not correspond with the ZS. At least 90 days following the Transfer of Authority, or later as determined by IFOR, an Entity's forces may occupy territories transferred to that Entity. After this occupation has occurred, IFOR is to establish a new ZS to correspond with the inter-Entity boundaries.

    By the end of 120 days after the Transfer of Authority:

    • Withdraw all heavy weapons and forces to locations designated by IFOR. Demobilize forces that cannot be accommodated in these locations.
    • In addition to other information requested by IFOR, provide the Joint Military Commission with comprehensive information on forces, weapons, military infrastructure, and barriers throughout the whole of BH. The Parties are to keep the Commission updated on changes in this information.

    Powers and Responsibilities of the Implementation Force (Annex 1-A)

    The U.N. Security Council is to authorize the creation of IFOR under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.(9) NATO is to establish IFOR under the direction and political control of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) through the NATO chain of command. NATO is to determine the role of non-allied states in the force. IFOR is to replace the U.N. Protection Force (UNPROFOR). IFOR is to establish and chair a Joint Military Commission to facilitate the implementation of the military provisions of the Accords and liaise with the Parties (see subsection above) in matters of complaints and questions requiring resolution by IFOR. The Commission is to include the IFOR commander or his or her representative, the senior military commander of the forces of each Party, up to two civilian representatives selected by each Party, the High Representative, and other persons as determined by IFOR. The Commission is to serve primarily as a consultative body for the IFOR commander, who is to have final authority on all military matters.

    Aside from supervising the selective marking of the Agreed Cease-Fire Line and the ZS delineated by the Accords, IFOR is not obliged to take any particular action, including deploying along BH's international borders. Instead, it is authorized to take a wide range of actions at its own discretion.(10)

    IFOR is authorized but not obliged to: use necessary force against the armed forces of any Party that violates military provisions of the Accords; use necessary force if a Party fails to cease activity determined by IFOR to constitute a real or potential threat to itself or another Party, or fails to relocate any force or weapons in BH as requested, or interferes with an attempt by IFOR to "observe, monitor, and inspect" any facility or activity deemed by IFOR to be "military" in nature;(11) deploy anywhere in BH and assist in the withdrawal of UNPROFOR and U.N. Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia (UNCRO) forces;(12) provide security, 30 days after the Transfer of Authority, in territories to be transferred between the Entities until the introduction of forces of the receiving Entity (see above); manage civilian traffic and military traffic authorized by IFOR between Sarajevo and Gorazde, as well as civilian air traffic and military air traffic authorized by IFOR over BH; facilitate conditions for international personnel to conduct any task associated with the Accords; and observe and prevent interference with the movement of civilians and "respond appropriately to deliberate violence to life and person."

    While the Accords call for the construction of the new road link from Gorazde to Sarajevo (see above), they do not explicitly charge IFOR with its construction.(13) The two existing routes designated in the Accords are to be used in the interim. IFOR is not specifically charged with any duties related to the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal.

    Arms Control Provisions (Annex 1-B)

    The Parties (here, the RBH, FBH, RS, Croatia, and the FRY) are not to import any arms for 90 days after the signing of the Accords and are not to import heavy weapons, ammunition for such weapons, mines, military aircraft, and helicopters for 180 days after the signing of the Accords, or until an arms control agreement takes effect whichever is the earlier.

    Within seven days of the signing of the Accords, the Parties are to commence negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE to agree upon "a series of measures to enhance mutual confidence and reduce the risk of conflict," including rules and mechanisms for military deployments and movements, reintroduction of foreign forces, identification and monitoring of weapons production capabilities, and the exchange of various types of military information. The objective of these negotiations is to conclude an agreement within 45 days of the signing of the Accords. The Accords do not specify what is to occur if such an agreement is not reached.

    Within 30 days of the signing of the Accords, the Parties are to commence negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE on an agreement to establish numerical limits on holdings of tanks, artillery, armored combat vehicles, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters.(14) "Artillery pieces" are to be defined as those of 75 mm calibre and above. Also within 30 days of the signing of the Accords, the Parties are to report their holdings in these categories. The holdings of the FRY are to be the "baseline" for numerical limits.

    If the Parties fail to reach such an agreement within 180 days of the signing of the Accords, the following limits on holdings in these categories are to apply, according to a ratio of 5:2:2 for the FRY, Croatia, and BH, respectively:

    • the limits of the FRY are to be 75% of the baseline;
    • the limits of Croatia are to be 30% of the baseline;
    • the limits of BH are to be 30% of the baseline; and
    • the allocations for BH are to be divided between the FBH and the RS according to a ratio of 2:1, respectively.

    The OSCE is to assist the Parties in the implementation and verification of resulting agreements. However, the Accords to not specify the nature or extent of the OSCE's authority in or mechanisms for such assistance. The Accords also do not provide for the enforcement of resulting agreements.

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