On 7 and 8 October in Sarajevo, the Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the BiH Ministry of Security and the RACVIAC Centre for Security Co-operation co-organized a regional conference titled Foreign Terrorist Fighters – Challenges for South East Europe.
The conference, which gathered more than 100 participants, provided a platform for the region’s national authorities, expert practitioners, civil society and academia, to discuss the Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) phenomenon and its effect on the region.
The Head of Mission opened the conference with insight on community cohesion in the aftermath of episodes of violent extremism, and was joined by Ambassador Branimir Mandić of RACVIAC and Deputy Minister of Security of BiH Mr Mijo Kresić in welcoming the participants.
Discussions focused on effective regional co-operation in prevention of radicalization leading to terrorism and FTF recruitment, prevention of FTF from crossing state borders, disruption and prevention of financial support to FTF, and development and implementation of prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning FTF.
The keynote address on the EU’s Western Balkan Counter-Terrorism Initiative was delivered by the Chair, Rajko Kozmelj. Furthermore, presentations were made regarding international and regional efforts, as well as the EU and ODIHR perspectives on regional and rights-compliant responses to FTF challenges.