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The European Union operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina will have a Hungarian commander and a higher number of soldiers in the contingent, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky announced on Monday.

“The peace of the Balkans is our peace, without the peace of Bosnia and Herzegovina there is no peace in the Western Balkans and no peace in Hungary,” the Defense Minister said at the EUFOR ALTHEA release ceremony held at the Bálna Defense Center in Budapest.

Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky stressed that Hungary has already participated in the European Union’s operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

however, from January the mission will have a Hungarian commander and the Hungarian contingent will be represented with a special force: almost three times the current number, about 400 soldiers.

Photo via MTI/Balogh Zoltán

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 250 people will be present:

the Hungarian Defense Forces will provide an air search and rescue team, an air evacuation team, a bomb squad with dog patrols, medical care, and logistical support and supplies.

From Hungary, a further 150 personnel are on standby to support the operation: a maneuver squadron, a military police team, a technical team, and a chemical protection team with water purification capability, the minister emphasized.

Praising the future commander, László Sticz, he said that the best general had been chosen for the job, an experienced and proven leader.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky added that they were taking on the task in a difficult situation, with the

deteriorating security environment putting a pressure on any mission requiring a military presence that is perhaps unprecedented.

In addition, there is serious migratory pressure on the southern border, terrorist organizations are increasingly active, and the scars and traces of the Yugoslav Wars and the forces that caused it are still with us today, he underlined.

László Sticz. Photo via honvedelem.hu

He also noted that the mission was a great honor and a great opportunity for the Hungarian force development to test and prove itself. Sticz, the outgoing EUFOR commander, said that

peace and stability in the Western Balkans is in Hungary’s fundamental interest, which is why Hungarian soldiers have been present in Bosnia and Herzegovina for almost 30 years.”

According to the commander, the fact that a Hungarian general led NATO’s mission in Kosovo (KFOR) for a year from autumn 2021, played a major role in Hungary’s successful bid for mission leadership, and the Hungarian Defense Forces have thus demonstrated that they are capable and able not only to participate but also to lead such an outstanding operation.


For one year, Major General Ferenc Kajári was KFOR’s 26th and first Hungarian commander. According to General Kajári’s assessment, KFOR managed to function as well as during the previous commands, and it protected peace and security in Kosovo. In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia, which Belgrade has refused to recognize ever since, and Serbia continues to consider the area, which is mostly inhabited by Albanians, as its southern province. KFOR was established in 1999, after the end of the Serbia-Kosovo conflict in order to maintain peace in Kosovo.

Hungarian Peacekeepers Prepare for Bosnia Mission
Hungarian Peacekeepers Prepare for Bosnia Mission

Major General Dr. László Sticz will be the leader of the EU peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina for one year.Continue reading

Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured image via honvedelem.hu

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