The City of Sarajevo Mine-Impact Free
The Mine Free Sarajevo project was launched in April 2019, fully funded by the United States, a leading donor in the fight to remove explosive remnants of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project, implemented by the humanitarian organization ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF) in partnership with the Mine Detection Dog Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina (MDDC) and the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), aims to completely eliminate the impact of landmines and other explosive ordnance in the City of Sarajevo; the project also includes municipalities surrounding Sarajevo.
The project has now reached an important milestone, as the two city municipalities that were contaminated with mines and other explosives – Stari Grad and Novi Grad – have now been declared mine-impact free by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre (BHMAC). During the demining process in these municipalities, MDDC teams found and destroyed 279 landmines and other unexploded ordnance. These achievements have made the city completely mine-impact free and therefore significantly safer while also creating crucial economic opportunities, such as further developing important agricultural land and infrastructure projects.
However, work is not yet finished as MDDC, ITF, and MLI move ahead with activities that will help eliminate mine impact in Sarajevo’s surrounding municipalities of Vogošća and East Stari Grad, which make up part of the greater metropolitan area.
None of this would be possible without the funding and support of the United States as well as the assistance and support of local authorities, especially BHMAC, the mayors of individual municipalities, and the mayor of the City of Sarajevo. The Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and FBiH Civil Protection Agency are also actively supporting the completion of this project. This project is an example of the strong bilateral partnership between the United States and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Since 1996, the United States has provided more than $117 million in conventional weapons destruction programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including demining and destruction of conventional weapons and ammunition. The United States is committed to the safety and security of Bosnia and Herzegovina through the U.S. humanitarian demining program, funding implementing partners to return land to productive use. To date, the United States has funded the return of more than 35.7 million square meters of land back to local populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.