Nearly two decades after the end of the conflict in former Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina remains one of the world's most mine contaminated countries with an estimated 2.5% of its territory at risk. The May floods have complicated the situation further, potentially contaminating the already cleared fields.

In order to help tackle this problem, which endangers lives and impedes economic and social development of 540.000 citizens, the On the job training in Humanitarian Demining and Mine Risk Education (MRE), was co-financed in the framework of the CEI Know How Exchange Programme (CEI KEP), fully contributed by Italy, with a grant of EUR 40.000. Within this four-month project, the Italian non-profit humanitarian aid organisation INTERSOS, active in the field of demining in BiH since 1999, served as a know-how provider to the Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC) in Bosnia Herzegovina.

According to the results presented in Sarajevo on 17 December, around 8.650 m2 of land has been cleared in the village of Grmuša in the municipality of Bihać during the ‘on the job training’ activities, with a total of eight mines removed (6 anti-human and 2 anti-tank). In addition, mine risk raising-awareness activities were implemented, including door-to-door presentations, poster and media campaign and dissemination of mine risk education handouts.

“This is another small step towards the goal of freeing Bosnia and Herzegovina from mines by 2019”, said the MDDC director, Nermin Hadžimujagić. “It is not important how many landmines have been found in the task. What is important is that the awareness of mine risks among the local population has risen”, he added.

It is estimated that there are approximately 120.000 mines /unexploded ordnances (UXO) in Bosnia and Herzegovina which still to be cleared.

The final event of the project was held in presence of the know-how providing and beneficiary institutions, as well as representatives of the Italian and US embassies in Sarajevo.
  ***
The Know-how Exchange Programme (KEP) is an instrument supporting projects and programmes focused on the transfer of know-how and best practices from EU to non-EU CEI Member States. It operates through calls for proposals.

For more information: dovier@cei.int, biadene@cei.int
 

from left: Guido Pietrosanti, INTERSOS, Regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans and Nermin Hadžimujagić, Director of Mine Detection Dog Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina 




 
 
 

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development