SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Nepalese Gurkha soldiers joined NATO-led peacekeepers, European Union troops and Bosnian forces this week for military exercises that included training to secure airports, diffuse bombs, free hostages and respond to riots.
The five-day exercises that concluded Friday took place throughout Bosnia. After the country’s 1992-95 war, an international peacekeeping force of 60,000 deployed in Bosnia. The European Union took over in 2004 and now has about 600 on the ground.
The EU force conducts war games every year. More than 120 men from Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas – men from Nepal whose predecessors fought for the British Empire more than two centuries ago – took part this year.
However, Bosnia’s eventual NATO membership is unclear. The Bosnian Serb member of the country’s three-person presidency has made abandoning NATO aspirations a condition for forming a new government.