General Dikovic urges forming regional force for natural disasters

Sarajevo – General Ljubisa Dikovic, the Serbian Armed Forces chief of general staff, said that forming a joint regional force for responding to natural and other disasters is one of the topics discussed at Wednesday’s 8th conference of the forum of Balkan military chiefs of general staff in Sarajevo.

First and foremost, all members of the armed forces are keen on the idea, and I am confident that the governments of all regional countries feel the same, Dikovic told the Fena agency.

Such joint efforts contribute to expedited preventive action and more efficient disaster prevention, as well as to better mutual understanding and strengthening of overall ties, he said.

Dikovic said that he believes that the idea will materialise and that the members of the regional force will hold joint exercises at least once a year.

During the floods that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, the armed forces of both countries were among the first to respond by providing assistance – which is normal, because the police and the military are the most organised – but civil defence resources need to be engaged as well, he said.

Appropriate funds and equipment must be ensured in order to respond to natural or other disasters, he said.

When it comes to saving human lives, property or assets, all borders and obstacles to joint action must be removed, General Dikovic said.

The Sarajevo conference started early Wednesday.(Tanjug)