UNTAESUnited Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium
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132) Although the Dokmanovic judgment imputed responsibility for the arrest to UNTAES, the way the story was played in the press was significantly more complicated.
The civilian aspects of his subsequent report (4) were accepted by the Security Council and became, in effect, the blueprint for the implementation of the transitional administration by UNTAES over the ensuing two years.
The senior members of UNTAES began to take up their duties in February 1996, and from the start it was made clear to all concerned that UNTAES was not going to be "son-of-UNCRO" (UN Confidence Restoration Operation), the previous UN peacekeeping mission in Croatia.
The robustness of UNTAES military capabilities was made clear to local Serbs and to the Croatian authorities alike.
Although UNTAES began operations from the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) headquarters in Zagreb, it was clear that as soon as practicable UNTAES should have its own headquarters in Eastern Slavonia.
The unity of command in UNTAES proved to be a great asset.
UNTAES found this to be particularly true in implementing its responsibilities for "governing" the region, and the press of experience often required ingenuity and imagination on the part of individuals to find solutions to political and other problems not envisaged in the mandate.
In the absence of any definition of the very govern, each party had a different interpretation: the Croats wanted UNTAES to assert authoritative control over all aspects of local government, whereas the local Republika Srpska officials wanted as little change and interference as possible.
Governing would seem to imply taking over responsibility for the public services and institutions, but the UNTAES staff had no experts in urban government, town administration, or local finance.
The mandate of the UNTAES civilian component given by the Security Council simply authorized the tasks set out in the secretary-general's report of 13 December, which had proposed setting up a number of implementation committees to identify how various aspects of local government worked and to oversee their functioning.
To this end, a UNTAES liaison office was established in the summer of 1996 in the offices of the Regional Executive Council, proving to be a vital link with the Serb political machinery that made policy decisions affecting the whole region.
It left much to the interpretation and leadership of the transitional administrator who, in turn, demanded UNTAES staff to be firm, imaginative, and proactive.