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Bosnia's Chief Peace Overseer Plans to End Mission

The international community's peace overseer in Bosnia says the country has made enough progress for him to close his office next year.

German diplomat Christian Schwarz-Schilling said Friday that the Office of High Representative will likely shut down in June 2007. He said a final decision will be made in February 2007.

The office was established in 1995 to implement civilian provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended Bosnia's civil war. It has the authority to fire officials and impose laws.

Schwarz-Schilling said the move signals that Bosnia "has gone a long way" to rebuild itself since the war, which claimed 200,000 lives and wrecked the economy.

He said that European Union, NATO and other observers will continue to have a strong presence in the country after his office closes.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.