Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
January 20, 2009


Peace and security is a major long-term objective in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which suffers from porous borders and persistent corruption, making it vulnerable to terrorists, traffickers and other criminals. The overriding U.S. interest in BiH remains its conversion from a source of regional instability to a peaceful, democratic, multiethnic state on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to promote a Bosnia that is secure within its own borders, at peace with its neighbors, capable of combating crime, trafficking and corruption, democratically governed, pluralistic and tolerant and growing economically.

U.S. Criminal Justice Sector Development Goals

INL, through its Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) program, will continue to provide criminal law technical assistance and skills development training to the justice sector of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to promote long-term institutional development. Program assistance works to:

  • Improve the general capacity of the criminal justice system and help it develop the best practices;
  • Build the capacity of Bosnian law enforcement and the judiciary to effectively investigate, prosecute and adjudicate financial crimes and corruption;
  • Enhance counterterrorism measures;
  • Develop effective measures to stem the flow of illegal trafficking in persons; and
  • Advance the ability of Bosnian authorities to successfully investigate and prosecute war crimes.

U.S. Programs

The RLA works towards these goals by giving regular on-site guidance to Bosnian prosecutors, judges, police, and other officials. In addition, the RLA develops more formal training to enhance the level of understanding regarding the most significant rule of law issues, including money laundering and economic crime, advocacy training for prosecutors and judges, and training on the adversarial system for prosecutors, judges and police.

In recent years our priorities have shifted from development of general policing services to the development of State level law enforcement capacities. Special attention has been given to enhancing authorities’ ability to combat criminal activity having a direct and indirect impact on the safety and security of the U.S. Strengthening the Rule of Law, especially at the state-level is the primary objective of the law enforcement development and training program in Bosnia. Through targeted assistance and hands-on advising, training and equipment donations, our law enforcement support programs help address the problems of organized crime, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and public corruption.

INL will continue to support the Government of Bosnia’s efforts to improve State level institutions under the Ministry of Security with national jurisdiction that will (1) secure Bosnia’s borders and be able to effectively repel extremist and terrorist elements; (2) establish peaceful co-existence with its neighbors and contributing to global security through coalition efforts; and (3) will be capable of combating the scourges of organized crime, trafficking and corruption. Faced with a bifurcation of police forces at the cantonal and entity level, INL support has focused on establishing the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) as the premier State level law enforcement agency. Support will also be provided to continue the institutional and operational capacity development of the Ministry of Security (MoS), Foreigner Affairs Service (FAS), and the Border Police.