THE leader of the Balearic Government, Jaume Matas, yesterday handed over, in a ceremony in the Paseo del Borne, the flag of the tactical group to the head of the Balearic contingent who will be leaving for Bosnia-Herzegovina this week. This was a farewell act to the soldiers who are going there as a peace-keeping force. In total, 167 professional soldiers from the Balearic General Command form the tactical group SPFOR XXVII “Balearics”.
They will lead a peace mission in Mostar which is part of the “Operation Althea”, an international force which mediates between the Serb, Croat and Muslim communities which the European Union developed in 2004 and which has 33 countries taking part. The Paseo del Borne was packed with members of the soldiers' families, and the authorities, who yesterday hosted the send-off.
The soldiers will leave for the Balkans accompanied by soldiers from the Logistics Group 41 from Zaragoza and Marines from Cadiz.
In total there will be 363 soldiers.
After the entrance of the unit from the calle Union into the Paseo del Borne, the Commander General of the Balearics, Emilio Roldan Pascual, reviewed the troops and received the leader of the Government. Roldan thanked the Government and the citizens for their support and said in his speech that “civilians and soldiers are not different societies”.
The Balearic soldiers are now going to “a land of deep wounds”, he said in a reference to the Balkans and to the “cruel war” which has left “more than 200'000 dead and more than 50 percent of the population homeless”. Matas then handed over the flag, which bears the name Baleares, to the head of the group, Colonel Santiago Gómez.


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