A giant step towards peace.
That is how Bosnia’s international administrator Paddy Ashdown has described a draft law that proposes merging three Bosnian ethnic forces into one army.
A decade ago Muslims, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats were embroiled in the war that ripped apart the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
It is hoped the new unified force will be up and running by 2007.
The Bosnian defence minister, Nikola Radovanovic, is hopeful of success.
He said: “A year and a half already for the implementation of these reforms, we have many indicators that we can work together.”
The proposed law would also mean the end of conscription.
The 1995 Dayton peace agreement ended the war and recognised the country’s independence but left it divided into a Bosnian Serb mini-state and a Bosnian Croat federation.