His Excellency Guillaume Rousson, the French Ambassador to BiH, attended a belated Bastille Day celebration at Camp Butmir on Monday 15 July. On his arrival he spoke with COM EUFOR, Major General Reinhard Trischak, discussing the contribution France makes to the mission, both politically and militarily.
Afterwards in honour of both Bastille Day and the Ambassador’s visit EUFOR’s French Senior National Representative, Lieutenant Colonel Adrien Lepan, organised a medal ceremony, supported by the Austrian company of the MNBN. The French flag was raised as the national anthem was played, then Colonel Jean François Caparos, the French Security Attaché, was awarded “Officer of the Ordre National du Merite” by the Ambassador.
At an evening event, to which representatives from all 20 nations supporting EUFORs mission were invited, the celebrations continued with a speech from the Ambassador, he said, “Every 14 July, the nation pays tribute to all the forces which, with self-sacrifice, ensure its security.” After the Ambassador’s speech a short film with a selection of France’s key landmarks and achievements was shown and a celebratory meal with French food and drink was served.
Lieutenant Colonel Adrien said, “It was a very special day, and a great honour for me, that here in BiH I was able to share this moment, symbolising all that is best of
France, with the Ambassador and the rest of the EUFOR family.”
He added: “The theme of yesterday’s Bastille Day parade in Paris was “acting together”, it is notable, that here, the friendship and co-operation that the different nations have with each other matches that aspiration.”