Explosive Ordnance and Remnants of War Destruction (Project EXPLODE)

Function of the project

 This picture shows the demilitarization of the rocket type “Orkan” used as a carrier for cluster sub-ammunition. All rockets were disassembled and components were destroyed beyond repair.


Bosnia and Herzegovina is one the most mine contaminated countries in the world. It is estimated that half a million unregulated weapons remain in civilian hands, and large amounts of ammunition and unexploded ordnances, remnants from the 1992-95 war, still threaten the security of citizens.

Perhaps the most alarming of all statistics is that there are still over 16,500 tonnes of military ammunition surplus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These are chemically unstable and represent a high risk of uncontrolled explosions, endangering both civilians living nearby and soldiers guarding the storage sites.

What we do

 “Bomb train”. This picture shows the preparation of the air cluster bombs for destruction by open detonation on Glamoč range, BiH. The open detonation was necessary because the system was so complex that an attempt at reverse engineering would take longer and be more dangerous to the operators. The bombs were destroyed with no pollution or damage to the surrounding area.


Project EXPLODE is a follow-up initiative to the Small Arms Control and Reduction project, which was carried out by UNDP between 2005-2012. So far, over 11,500 tonnes of ammunition has been destroyed, including all known and reported quantities of cluster munitions, as well as over 140,000 pieces of weaponry.

Uncontrolled explosions of munitions sites cause humanitarian crisis of wider scope that have devastating safety and development implications for local communities. In order to prevent these explosions, the Project destroys unsafe ammunition and upgrades the safety features of munitions storage sites. Recognizing the need for sustainability of these strategies, Project EXPLODE contains a targeted training programme on ammunition stockpiles management for senior officers of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Responding to devastating floods that hit BiH in 2014, the Project assists the Demining Battalion of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in increasing the rate of mine clearance in alignment with the most recent international mine action standards. Specifically as a post-flood recovery intervention, Project EXPLODE mitigates the risk of possible landslides that endanger ammunition storage and disposal facilities.

The project is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Project EXPLODE activities include:

  • Destroying high hazard ammunition and complex weapon systems;
  • Supporting the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the reduction of military ammunition stockpiles to manageable quantities;
  • Conducting training for senior military officers to build their capacities;
  • Directly building capacities of the Demining Battalion of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Certifying ammunition specialists for ammunition inspection and demilitarization; and
  • Implementing infrastructure upgrades to improve the safety and storage conditions of military weapons and ammunition storage depots.

Success thus far

 The Pull apart machine with two automated lines and protective bunker, newly installed in the Ministry of defense facility in Doboj for ammunition disposal.

The Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with UNDP support, has achieved the following results:

  • Disposal of over 10,500 tonnes of ammunition and 125,000 pieces of small arms and light weapons since 2006;
  • Over 2,100 tonnes of chemically unstable conventional artillery ammunition disposed of, including around 10 million pieces of unsafe small arms and ammunition, since the onset of the Project;
  • Successful implementation of the High Hazardous Munitions Destruction project, which includes the destruction of all known and reported quantities of cluster bombs, rockets and other cluster munitions;
  • Doubled capacity for ammunition disposal between 2010-2012;
  • Installation of high technology disposal machinery.

Goals moving forward

  1. Expeditious disposal of the remaining unstable and hazardous munitions stockpiles;
  2. Continued use of new technologies and application of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines and rigorous safety standards;
  3. Further improvement of the conditions of weapons and ammunition storage depots and training of military personnel in physical security and stockpile management.

Financial contributors

Donor Name Amount contributed per year
European Union $ 6,020,456
DFID $ 668,670
The Netherlands through BCPR $ 123,283
United Kingdom through BCPR $ 24,644
BCPR $ 26,779
Norway through BCPR $ 312,000
DFID $ 270,224
Sweden through BCPR $ 554,655
Spain $ 354,610
Denmark $ 50,000
European Union $ 3,456,824
AECID $ 388,802
Swedish Armed Forces $ 235,545
Denmark $ 223,214
Sweden and Germany through BCPR $ 695,000
The Netherlands $ 105,545
European Union $ 2,794,239
Belgium $ 191,816
Italy $ 42,135

Delivery In the Previous Fiscal Years

December 2012 $ 726,043.94
December 2011 $ 2,964,891.11
December 2010 $ 1,588,803.19
December 2009 $ 1,891,550.44
December 2008 $ 761,775.28
December 2007 $ 504,788.48

Geographic coverage

"METAMORPHOSIS" - making of a disarmament sculpture by Darko Sobot