Workshop “Article 5 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling and Transfer of AP Mines – Request for Extension

 In accordance with the obligations under Article 5 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Storage and Transfer of PP Mines / Ottawa Convention, which obliges Bosnia and Herzegovina to destroy or secure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or under its control in accordance with with the given deadlines, on March 6, 2020, in Sarajevo, Hotel Hills, a Workshop was held on the preparation of the Request for Extension of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would extend the said deadline for the next 5 years (2025).

The Workshop was organized by the BiH Mine Action Center, in cooperation with the Geneva-ISU Implementation Unit of the Ottawa Convention, and was attended by all mine action operators in our country, including state institutions, NGOs and representatives of international and domestic organizations involved in addressing this problems.

Among other things, the Workshop presented the results of the project “General Assessment of Mine Suspecting Areas 2018-2019”, implemented by the BiH Mine Action Center as a leading operational organization, with project partners: Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Demining Battalion and Norwegian People's assistance – Humanitarian Disarmament Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina (NPA).

It should be emphasized that the realization of this project is the basis for the preparation of a new request of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the extension of the deadline for the next five years (2025), determined by the Convention on the Protection of Landmines (” Ottawa Convention ”), which should be submitted by the end March 2020, as well as the medium-term action plan for land reclamation, without the use of classic cleaning and technical survey methods, which is currently being worked on and will fully monitor the implementation of the existing strategic document.

In the last 18 months of this project, 128 municipalities have been processed on an area of ​​1056 km2, as a result of which 30,000 evidence of mine suspected areas in our country have been examined. All newly collected data on mine contamination in endangered communities were properly mapped and recorded in the evidence registry and central database, while all MSP tasks (480 in total) were adapted to the new Land Release approach as a more efficient and effective method of dealing with mine contamination in the coming period.

The workshop highlighted the importance of cooperation between institutions at all levels, as well as the contribution and engagement of both the non-governmental and commercial sectors involved in solving the problem of remaining mines and other explosive devices left behind by the war.

According to the existing Mine Action Strategy, in order to reach a landmine-free country by the mentioned deadline, it is necessary to maintain at the same level funding from international sources and from domestic sources – to increase it.

In the 24 years following the conflict, there are still 967km2 of confirmed hazardous areas.

Micro-locations contaminated with landmines / explosive ordnance / cluster munitions directly affect the safety of 545,603 inhabitants or 15% of the total population of BiH.

In the last five years, Bosnia and Herzegovina has managed to free up a total of 158.5 km2, destroying 8,992 mines and 9,992 other explosive remnants of the war.

1766 victims (1996-2019), of which 617 were fatal; 802 were injured; 347- unknown

Unfortunately in last year there were two deminers with 3 injured deminers and 2 with fatalities, while there were no civilian casualties.

Although as a state we are struggling to invest more in this process, we must continue to emphasize the importance of donor assistance and contributions in the coming period, as well as greater investment of domestic money and engagement of institutions at all levels of the state, in order to reach land without mines and other explosive remnants of war.


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