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Words in the News
Monday 01 July 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  peace keeping forces
UN fights to save Bosnia mission
Summary: The United States has vetoed a resolution to extend United Nations peace-keeping operations in Bosnia Hercegovina for six months because it did not win agreement to exempt American peace-keepers from prosecution by the new International War Crimes Tribunal. This report from Matthew Price:
The News Listen  
  For Bosnia's peace-keepers it is time to wait as the clock ticks on a deadline to renew their mandate to operate in the country. There are one-and-a-half thousand police officers and hundreds of logistical staff who, if no agreement can be found, will have to start packing their bags on Thursday. Officially there does not appear to be any panic among UN staff.

At the office of the High Representative for Bosnia, currently Lord Ashdown, a spokesperson said: the reasonable person's assumption is that it is not going to happen. If it does, however, it would be a massive logistical exercise. The UN role is essentially a policing one. At the moment its staff are training a new Bosnian police force and at the end of the year the UN is due to hand over to European officers. But that was to be a controlled, planned exercise.

Any sudden change in the timetable would be, in the words of one spokesperson, a huge dislocation. There is also a question-mark hanging over the status of the NATO mission in Bosnia, SFOR. Around a quarter of SFOR troops are from the US. It's unclear whether a new mandate would have to be negotiated, but as was recently shown in Afghanistan, that can be done.

Matthew Price, BBC

The Words Listen
  renew their mandate
extend the period of their authority to carry out peace keeping tasks

  logistical staff
people involved in the organisation of transport and supplies

  start packing their bags
begin making preparations to leave

a person who speaks as the representative of a group or organisation

  reasonable person's assumption
what a fair and sensible person supposes

the system used to preserve law and order

an activity designed to achieve a particular purpose

  change in the timetable
alterations to the times when particular activities would be carried out

  a question-mark hanging over
there is uncertainty about

  as was recently shown
to use as an example what happened

  Read more about this story  

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