Transitional Police Forces During the Reintegration of the Croatian Podunavlje Region: Lessons for Ukraine

Keywords: UNTAES, reintegration, TPF, Podunavlje region

Abstract

The peculiarities of creation and activity of the Transitional Police Forces in the territory of the Croatian Podunavlje region during the reintegration of this region to the state legal framework of the Republic of Croatia are disclosed in the paper.

At the beginning of 1996, the UN Security Council adopted resolution № 1037 on establishing the United Nations Transitional Authority for Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES). It had the tasks of reintegration of the territory into the structure of Croatia. The components of reintegration were demilitarization of the region, administrative reintegration, social reintegration, holding local elections, recovery of economic activity. The organization of the Transitional Police Force (TPF) work became one of the elements of gradual reintegration.

The work of the TPF was preceded by the combined training of the Croatian and Serbian law enforcers abroad and after that they were sent to certain sections of the demarcation line in the Podunavlje region.

A different vision of the role and place of the TPF by the parties of the conflict complicated its creation and functioning. The main problems of the TPF were searching for an optimal balance of the national proportion in the division, and the Serbians fear of losing the job after elimination of the TPF.

With the continuation of reintegration, the proportion of Croats in the TPF increased. Restructuring of the body and gradual transfer of its officers to the structure of the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs began from the middle of 1997.

At the end of 1997, the headquarters of the UNTAES relinquished command over the TPF to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Croatia. Officially the TPF joined the Croatian police on January 16, 1998, after the end of the credentials of the UNTAES in Podunavlje region.

Inclusion of the TPF in the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia completed the process of police forces reforming in the Croatian Podunavlje region. Croatia’s experience in the establishing of the TPF could be used to resolve the situation in Donbas.

However, it is inexpediently to draw complete parallels between the Croatian and Ukrainian examples.

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Published
05.10.2019
Section
World History and International Relations