The Republic of Srpska Ministry of the Interior

SPECIAL ANTI-TERRRORIST UNIT - SAU – ORGANIZATION


COMPETENCE
  • planning, organising and completing the most complex activities related to security and tasks related to countering terrorism through direct intervention with the aim of eliminating terrorist groups and destroying organised terrorist networks as well as detecting, catching and neutralising organised criminal groups and individuals,
  • harmonising action plans with other participants in certain action,
  • providing support to operational organisational units of the Ministry in completion of certain operational-tactical measures and activities outside their competence,
  • dealing with hostage situations through the following activities: liberating hostages from a kidnapped airplane, train, vessel, truck or passenger vehicle, apartment, house or other type of building, negotiating on liberating hostages without use of force,
  • establishing public order and peace in high risk situations,
  • repressing rebellions in institutions for the implementation of criminal sanctions,
  • providing aid in emergency situations,
  • providing aid to citizens in cases of natural disasters, accidents on water and under water, and saving participants in an accident in any situation on a major scale,
  • providing security in the facilities the members of the Unit use for accommodation and work, and, by the order of a Minister and Police Director, providing security to other facilities and persons,
  • planning the training of its team and members in cooperation with the Training Centre, selecting, training, and accepting new candidates to the Unit in cooperation with other organisational units of the Ministry,
  •  monitoring, analysing and suggesting the application and using achievements in the domain of organising and application of methods and tactics of the Unit in performing the most complex security tasks as well as improving material-technical equipment,
  • cooperating with international police and similar foreign police agencies’ offices, providing order, discipline and lawfulness of activities.
ORGANISATION

The Unit is organized in accordance with the European standards for Special Police Units, so that its structure and unit strength provide quality training and high operability level in performing certain tasks.

SELECTION AND TRAINING

Everybody who wishes to become a member of Special Anti-Terrorist Unit has to go through rigorous and difficult selective training. The contest for accepting new candidates depends on the needs of the Unit and available job posts. Training of future members is based on the experiences of home and foreign specialized units and is harmonized with the universally accepted world standards and trends. In accordance with the strictly purposeful needs, the aim of Special Anti-Terrorist Unit training is to professionally train, drill, and prepare all the members of the operational unit both physically and mentally to successfully perform the most complex and delicate tasks in all situations and in every moment.

HISTORY

Ever since it was established to this day, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit has been continuously developed and modernised and the process can be divided into three stages:
• First stage (from 1992 to 1995);
• Second stage (from 1995 to 2001);
• Third stage (from 2001 to today)

First stage

With the outbreak of war conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of the Interior divided based on their ethnicity, so on 4 April 1992, the Police Unit for Special Actions was also divided, and in the second half of 1992, the Special Police Brigade was formed. In the period of war conflicts, from 1992 to 1994, nine units were formed with brigade command stationed in the village of Janja, BIH. Formation structure was as follows: Command, I – Pale division, II – Šekovići division, III – Trebinje division, IV – Bijeljina division, V – Doboj division, VI - Banja Luka division, VII – Prijedor division, VIII – Ilidža division, and IX – Foča division. During the war, the Special Police Brigade had 1,500 members, and 144 of them gave their lives for the Republic of Srpska and 400 members were injured. On multiple occasions, the Unit was decorated with the orders of Petar Mrkonjić, Nemanjići, the First of Order of Njegoš, and the order of Merits for the People. Certain number of Unit members was decorated with the orders of Miloš Obilić and Milan Tepić and other decorations.

Second stage

From 1995 to 2001, the whole Brigade completely changed under detailed monitoring of international organisations, primarily IPTF. When Dayton Peace Agreement was signed, and since its Annex 1B provided that special formations had to be disbanded and retreated to bases/barracks, the Unit changed its name into Anti-Terrorist Actions Police Brigade. The Annex 11 to Dayton Peace Agreement provided that members had to go through training under control of international police – IPTF. After reorganisation in 1998, the Unit got a new name – Specialised Police Service with the Command in Janja, near Bijeljina, divisions in Prijedor and Ilidža were disbanded, and divisions in Trebinje and Foča were integrated with the base on Tjentište. Other divisions were transformed into specialised teams. After the reorganisation 1999/2000, the Specialised Police Service was dislocated from Janja to Banja Luka. All divisions were disbanded with exception to those in Janja and Banja Luka. The Specialised Team was located in Banja Luka and transformed into Anti-Terrorist Team.

Third Stage

In 2001, the division Janja was disbanded, and in Rakovačke Bare base, near Banja Luka, the Specialised Police Service continued their activities, and parts of it were Anti-Terrorist Team, Specialised Team and Mechanised Team. In 2004, the Service changed its name into Special Police Unit. On 8 August 2016, when the Rulebook on internal organisation and systematisation of job posts in the Republic of Srpska Ministry of Interior entered into force, the Unit changed its name into Special Anti-Terrorist Unit. Since the establishment of the Police Brigade in 1992 until today, the duty of Commander was performed by the following people: 1. Milenko Karišik (1992-1993); 2. Goran Sarić (1993-1997); 3. Duško Jević (1997-1999); 4. Dragan Lukač (1999-2004); 5. Ranko Vuković (2004-2006); 6. Predrag Krajnović (2006-2015); 7. Dragan Ribić (2015 -2018); 8. Goran Balaban (2018-).

Organizational chart