Explosive Ordnance and Remnants of War Destruction project (EXPLODEplus)

Remnants of war as well as ageing and overstocked ammunition stockpiles, are constant security and safety threat for the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to its age (40 years old on average), poor conditions of storage facilities, and lack of maintenance, these stockpiles have deteriorated to the point that where they pose a threat not only to the storage facility but also to local community adjacent to location of storage. The primary risk related to ageing ammunition stockpile management is Uncontrolled Explosions of a Munition Site (UEMS), that can cause loss of life, damage to infrastructure and inherently diminish development opportunities within the wider area.

During the period January 2010 – March 2019, globally, there have been 215 unplanned explosions of munitions sites with over 1,600 casualties and over 7,150 injured people. In the same time, 7 incidents of this type occurred in the region (Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia) causing 7 deaths and 35 injured persons.

The risk of illicit proliferation is secondary in this case, but nevertheless present, in such a way that ammunition poses a trans-national security threat. Potential proliferation of ammunition and weaponry from BiH within the region further to EU counters can lead to increase instability and enhance likelihood of criminal and terrorist activities.

Latest data from EUFOR (17 June 2019) show that Ministry of Defense/Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MoD/AF BiH) are currently managing up to 13,000 tonnes of ammunition stockpiles in total. Large portion of this ammunition is around 40 years old and unsafe for further storage, and as such require immediate response through disposal.

Considering that AF BiH require 7,500 tonnes of ammunition to be fully operational, there is some 6,000 tonnes of surplus ammunition. Within this surplus 2/3 are designated for disposal due to its condition and inability to overhaul and store them further. By fulfilling the stockpile reduction planned in 2019, it is expected that total quantity of ammunition stockpile of MoD/AF BiH will drop below 10,000 tonnes. This is a prerequisite quantity for establishment of sustainable ammunition stockpile management system of MoD/AF BiH.

Funding Support by

Delivery in previous fiscal year

EXPLODE+ Project  

represents an urgent action on the disposal of ammunition unsafe for further storage as well as ammunition that is highly prone to proliferation. The project was initiated in 2015 as a complementary and more flexible multi-donor project platform to support ongoing EXPLODE project, while currently complements the wider intervention executed through the European Union Assistance to Stockpile Management, Technical Support, and Ammunition Surplus Reduction (EU STAR), project implemented by UNDP and funded by the European Union.

EXPLODE+ project was designed in such a way that it supports the MoD/AF of BiH in the effort to reduce the ammunition surplus, which is not safe for storage and poses a threat to both the environment and the population. Project activities are performed under the framework of, the EUFOR coordinated, Ammunition, Weapons and Explosives Master Plan (AWE Master Plan), a coordinating mechanism of all partners engaged in dealing with the establishment of sustainable ammunition and weapons stockpile management system of MoD/AF BiH.

EXPLODE + Project components:

  1. Disposal of remnants of war - to improve security in BiH and support to defense and security reform processes in BiH including democratic governance of security and defense sectors;
  2. Capacity development of the AF BiH personnel - to safely handle ammunition in order to take full ownership of the ammunition surveillance process; and
  3. Safety infrastructure upgrades - for improved conditions of ammunition and weapon storage facilities as a part of establishing sustainable ammunition surveillance management system and as a prevention of unplanned explosions and proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and corresponding ammunition.

Results

Since 2015, Project EXPLODE+ has been funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and US State Department in amount of $ 5,593,908 in total. These financial means aided in:

  • Disposal of over 1,200 tonnes of various types and calibres of unsafe ammunition and explosive ordnances,
  • Training of over 200 personnel of MoD/AF BiH on: contemporary military standards in the field of ammunition stockpile management, usage of ammunition disposal machinery at the Technical workshop for ammunition overhaul and disposal in TROM, Doboj, firefighting and safety at work.
  • Infrastructure upgrades of:
    • 3 facilities within TROM, Doboj;
    • 5 ammunition storage facilities at Ammunition Storage Site (ASS) Krupa Hadžići
    • Security doors replacement conducted on 7 ammunition storage facilities at ASS Kula Mrkonjić Grad.

Goals moving forward

  • Expeditious disposal of the remaining unstable and hazardous ammunition on a case-by-case principle in order to deal with the most complex ammunition items and system that cannot be processed in AF BiH facilities;
  • Further improvement of the conditions of weapons and ammunition storage depots for establishment of sustainable ammunition stockpile management system of MoD/AF BiH; and
  • Know-how transfer to MoD/AF BiH on best ammunition disposal practices

Sustainable Development Goals targeted by EXPLODE+

Status:

Ongoing

Start date:

07/04/2015

Estimated end date:

31/12/2021

Focus Area:

Justice and Security

Donors

Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Netherlands, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America

Project value

EUR 5,151,028

Partners:

United Nations Development Programme, Ministry of Defense BiH/Armed Forces (MoD/AF BiH), the European Union Force in BiH (EUFOR), the US Department of State and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters in BiH (NATO HQ).

 

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