Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world and remains the most mine-affected country in Europe. The presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), even though reduced each year, remains a major problem for personal security of residents, hinders socio-economic development and prevents steady and continuous post-conflict reconstruction.
By the beginning of 2017, the mine suspected area in BiH amounted to 1,091 sq. kilometres, representing over 2.1 % of the country’s territory. According to the BHMAC estimations, there are still around 80,000 mines and UXO left in the ground throughout BiH (on approx. 8,600 locations). Currently, there are still 500,000 residents living in approximately 1,400 mine/UXO/cluster munitions affected communities. Since 1996, mine and UXO accidents severed the lives of 1.751 local residents, turning them into mine/UXO victims (612 residents were fatally injured/death).
The latest figures on residual mine contamination and the impact it has on local residents’ daily life remains devastating. According to national mine action strategy, it has been predicted that BiH would strive to achieve mine-free status until 2019. However, considering various external and internal factors, inter alia, lack of funding and emergence of new suspected areas, BiH would require a deadline extension application. It is projected that the mine-free status could be achieved in 2025.
What we do
Clearance of Landmines and ERW
By the end of 2016, ITF has with its donor partners cleared over 77.3 million sq. meters of land (through demining and technical survey operations on 2,450 project locations), thus removing and destroying around 40,000 mines/UXO.
Mine Risk Education
For the last 10 years, ITF has been supporting mine risk education projects in BiH in order to ensure the ultimate goal, no more mine/UXO casualties. More than 150,000 children and more than 37,000 adults were included in mine risk education programs in BiH (approximately 20 projects were implemented in BiH through ITF).
Through ITF, 829 mine victims from BiH were rehabilitated and more than 80 mine victim assistance projects were implemented (including around 5,000 direct beneficiaries).
ITF is also continuously supporting the local capacity building by providing equipment and trainings to BHMAC, Civil Protection and Armed Forces demining battalion.
Destruction of Surplus Weapons and Ammunition
ITF was also active in the demilitarization process in BiH, where the main aim is to ensure operations and develop national capabilities and infrastructure in this regard, utilizing both, government and private industrial facilities as necessary in support of a long-term life-cycle stockpile management and to contribute to a long-term conventional weapons destruction (CWD) plan of defense modernization in BiH. In 2012, a total of 60,969 items were destroyed within the project.