Team Leader for the Passport Control Unit of Border Police at the Sarajevo Airport Zvjezdana Ararankovic is a brave police officer who was twice engaged in UN peace missions in Sudan, within which she helped with the police reform and protected civilians in the bloody war.
She left for the first time in 2008, three years after a 20-year bloody civil war in that country finished. The result of this war is the secession of the South Sudan in 2011.
”During my first engagement in the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), I did various jobs and tasks, from work with local police, consultation related to solving various cases and respecting human rights to the team leader’s work at Juba Airport. I also worked as a Deputy Commander of Sector 1 Juba and as a local police instructor with the aim of building their capacity to identify and detect false documents. During my 18 months mandate, I was also a Commander of the BH Police Contingent in Sudan, “ Ararankovic said.
New conflicts began in the new state in 2013. There are countless crimes including murders, rapes, sexual violence, torture and other crimes against humanity. But this did not prevent Zvjezdana from being part of the UNMIS for the second time, from March 20th 2016 to September 19th 2017.
”During my two engagements, I gained different experiences, since the mandates of these missions are different.” The mandate of the UNMIS mission was to build capacity, reform and police reorganization, while UNMIS’s mandate was to protect civilians. What is common to these missions is the process of meeting cultural differences, which inevitably enriched me as a person, and meeting other colleagues and the way they do police affairs, “ said the brave police officer.
The United Nations (UN) has engaged Zvjezdana as an instructor in Botswana for Formed Police Unit Training. She was twice engaged as an instructor for missionary training in Sweden.
At the Peace Support Operations Training Center (PSOTC) in Butmir, besides her regular jobs and tasks, Zvjezdana also does tasks, such as those in Sweden, where she worked as an instructor in missionary training.
”Actually the most important thing is to be prepared well mentally for the peace mission, because this is a big change, it has to do with the other continent and a monthly stay in a totally different enivronment. During the engagement in peace missions, you can definitely get a great professional and personal experience. We develop professionaly and individualy, and very often after the missions, colleagues are interested in professional engagements in UN. Also, through these missions you meet people with different profiles, you make new friendships and expand your business contacts. One of the reasons why police officers decide to join peace mission is a greater financial stability, ” she noted.
Since 2012, all police officers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) who want to be part of the peace missions have to do mission training which is organized by the BiH Ministry of Security. This training is conducted in the PSOTC in Butmir. The successful completion of this training is one of the requirements that police officers have to finish in order to be sent to a peace mission.
Representatives of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) within the project ”Strengthening Institutional Capacities through Expanding Peace Mission Participants’ Experience”, funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, emphasize the importance of further involvement of BH police structures in peace missions all around the world.