“Pork scandal” shakes BiH Armed Forces

“Pork scandal” shakes BiH Armed Forces

BiH Ministry of Defence (BiH MoD) investigates the case of abuse in food supply for BiH Armed Forces (AF BiH), since an analysis showed that some of the food producers had not declare that their products contained pork.

Soldiers and officers of the AF BiH are coming from three nations and three religions, including Muslims, who are banned from eating pork. Since some producers did not declare that the food contains pork, Muslims (Bosniaks) unintentionally ate it and violated the rules of their religion. After some media broke the story, BiH Ministry of Defence triggered the investigation.

Investigators discovered that two suppliers of canned food and beef products delivered products that contain unlabelled pork.

The delivery violated the contract with the Ministry and its food regulation. The Ministry said they immediately withdrew all suspicious food from use until the end of their investigation and that they will determine whether someone from the Ministry or the Armed Forces was responsible for this incident.

“The authorities of the Ministry and the AF BiH, immediately after the first suspicion, urgently prohibited the use of controversial food until the completion of all laboratory analyzes. Furthermore, the Ministry of Defense of BiH will take measures aimed at the legal protection of the interests of the MoD and the AF BiH in this matter. In order to strengthen the system of organisation and control of food items, activities will also be carried out to determine the possible responsibility of members of the MoD and the AF of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which could be related to identified deficiencies”, stressed BiH MoD in the press release.

The case sparked an avalanche of reactions in Sarajevo, of course among the Bosniak highest authorities. Bosniak member of the BiH Presidency, Šefik Džaferović, sent the letter to BiH Minister of Defence, Marina Pendeš, saying that the investigation must be proper and fast in order to find who is responsible.

“I urge you to determine the responsibility of all participants in this unacceptable incident and to punish those responsible… I demand an official report on all the activities and sanctions against those responsible”, Džaferović concluded.

He asked that the Ministry re-examines all food supply procedures for the Armed Forces and take all necessary measures to avoid such omissions in the future.

The biggest Bosniak party in the country, the Democratic Action Party (SDA), asked the Ministry “to sue the suppliers who took part in this scandal, and to publicly announce their names and the exact names of controversial food items, as other Muslims living in Bosnia and Herzegovina would not buy such products”.

BiH MoD still did not publish the names of the producers and suspicious products. This issue also triggered the question of the overall quality of the food in AF BiH, which, according to rumors is below the standard for soldiers./IBNA