ITF concluding clearance tasks in Bosnia and Herzegovina
ITF, with the donation provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, has successfully concluded a mine clearance project on three areas in the municipalities of Brčko, Lopare, and Travnik (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
The Republic of Slovenia, in partial cooperation with the United States of America, has contributed 100,000 EUR for mine clearance activities as an urgent response to devastating floods that have affected the country in spring 2014 and caused additional concerns in mine clearance efforts. Namely, there is high probability that the already marked mine-contaminated areas have been relocated by flooded rivers and landslides.
Out of 920 square kilometres of flood-affected land, around 300 square kilometres have been mine-suspected. Therefore, a reassessment of the status on these locations is needed, in addition to marking, mapping and, above all, clearance of already identified mine fields.
On 2 September 2015, a total of 59,871 square metres of previously mine-affected land has been solemnly returned to local population. The ceremony was attended by Mitja Štrukelj, Director General of the Directorate for International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance; H.E. Iztok Grmek, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ambassador Damjan Bergant, ITF Director; representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre, demining contractors (Detektor (Banja Luka) and Demira (Orašje)), monitoring agencies (Trotil and Eksploring), and local authorities.