Bundeswehr Soldiers from the first IFOR Contingent return from Croatia (April 17, 1996)
The wars in the former Yugoslavia put Germany under greater pressure to add military intervention to its portfolio of international responsibilities. After the Dayton Peace Accords were signed, the Bundestag agreed on December 6, 1995, to deploy German troops to the former Yugoslavia as part of a multinational protection force (Implementation Force, IFOR) tasked with implementing the peace treaty. The Bundeswehr contributed 2,700 soldiers to the IFOR mission and provided particular support in the area of logistics and air reconnaissance. On April 17, 1996, the first IFOR cohort of Bundeswehr troops, a total of 162 soldiers, returned to Germany from their base in Croatia. They were greeted at the Cologne/Bonn airport by Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who delivered a speech emphasizing the German population’s support for the deployment. Photo: Christian Stutterheim.