The NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Military Intervention Facing New Civilian Challenges


Skjelsbæk, Inger. 2004. "The NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Military Intervention Facing New Civilian Challenges." In Gender Aspects of Conflict Interventions: Intended and Unintended Consequences, 25-38. Oslo: International Peace Research Institute

Author: Inger Skjelsbæk


Sexual violence can be conceptualized as a security issue, and thereby a matter of concern for a military conflict intervention such as SFOR. A potential increase in the number of inter-ethnic rapes in Bosnia ought to be regarded as a security threat. It is therefore recommended that as a part of an overall security assessment, SFOR headquarters and the three multinational brigades (MNBs) should include statistics on the number of inter-ethnic rapes in the regions in which SFOR operates. If the SFOR leadership is to implement the above recommendation, a number of practical issues need be considered. The following further recommendations should therefore be read as ways of reaching the  primary goal outlined above: CIMIC officers must be given basic education on the causes and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in particular the forms it may take among victims of sexual violence; CIMIC units should establish close contact with women’s NGOs, psychosocial centres and social centres in their areas in order to create a network through which potential victims can receive adequate help; Gender Officers should be appointed at a minimum at the MNB level; and Gender Officers ought be part of the Gender Coordinating Group (GCG) or similar associations in the area.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Health, PTSD, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, NGOs, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2004

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