EU Funds the Melt Down of Additional 1,200 Pieces of Weapons

Jul 1, 2014

Bosnia and Herzegovina approaches the 6000 figure of destroyed weapons in 2014

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 30 June 2014  During the weekend, over 1,200 pieces of weapons, collected across Bosnia and Herzegovina, were melted down in the steel mill Jelsingrad, Banja Luka which will add to around 6,000 pieces of weapons destroyed this year.

The destruction is supported by the European Union, with the funds secured through the Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP, dated 9 December 2013, in Support of SEESAC Disarmament and Arms Control Activities in South East Europe in the framework of the EU Strategy to Combat the Illicit Accumulation and Trafficking of SALW and their Ammunition.

The illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation of conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their excessive accumulation and uncontrolled proliferation fuel insecurity in the South East Europe and wider. In order to tackle this threat, the European Union, through the Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP, entrusted SEESAC with the implementation of a series of region-wide activities in the period 2014-2016.

“Illicit proliferation of weapons goes beyond borders of a country. It is a regional and a global problem. Thanks to the EU funds under the Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP, UNDP/SEESAC is able to provide support to Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in the region in fighting this phenomenon, including by assisting with SALW destruction efforts such as this one,” says Ivan Zverzhanovski, SEESAC Coordinator.  

The weapons marked for the destruction are those collected across Bosnia and Herzegovina over the course of the last several months, as a result of a joint effort of local police agencies and their international partners in implementation of the weapons awareness raising and collection campaign entitled “Choose Life, Not Weapons”.  

Jasmin Porobic, UNDP Human Security Programme Manager, explains that this intervention represents a collective endeavor of over 20 national and international partners of the campaign “Choose Life, Not Weapons” that aims to raise awareness of population about the negative aspects of illicit weapons possession and allows citizens to surrender their weapons with no sanctions. “To live in a free and safe community we have to commit to doing what we can to ensure a safe and secure community can prosper. The amnesty legislation is in force throughout the country. Citizens willing to surrender the weapons should call police at 122 and the police will provide additional support and information.” says Mr. Porobic.