Board of Donors for Mine Action determined to make Bosnia and Herzegovina mine free by 2025Nov 13, 2017
Steps that need to be taken in order to make Bosnia and Herzegovina mine free by 2025 were in the focus of the Board of Donors Meeting held on the 13th of November 2017 by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Demining Commission in BiH and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The meeting, which was attended by ambassadors, and representatives of international and local institutions and organizations was dedicated to the overview of the status of mine action, as well as on opportunities for improvement and sustainability of mine action activities in BiH.
The Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Adil Osmanović in his introduction spoke about the results achieved in the period of Mine Action Strategy 2009-2019 during which a total of 45% of the planned demining operations have been accomplished, while a total of 332.5 mil. BAM or 49% of the planned demining resources have been collected. In his introduction Mr. Osmanović spoke about the new mine action Strategy 2018-2025 which is currently in the making, underscoring the effects of an accelerated and more efficient demining process on safe return of BiH citizens.
„Demining must not depend solely on the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina“- stressed Sezin Sinanoglu, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in BiH , underscoring the importance of defining of a realistic deadline for the Mine Action Strategy. Furthermore, Mrs. Sinanoglu underlined how a lack of resources cannot be used as an excuse for extended deadlines.
President of the Demining Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina Suvad Džafić and the Director a.i. of the BHMAC Saša Obradović presented the mine situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and underscored how there are around 8,796 identified micro locations in BIH, where there are, according to available data, around 80.000 mines/cluster munitions/explosive remnants of war.
During the meeting, the participants discussed mine clearance of all affected areas, as required by the Ottawa Treaty. There are over 1000km2 of mine suspected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the government is seeking to postpone this deadline for year 2025. The international community encouraged the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to despite all challenges caused by a lack of resources, political and administrative obstacles, ensure effective mine action activities in line with the newly defined deadlines.
Representatives of the donor community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the discussions pointed out the importance of joint efforts in creating a mine free country.