Explosive Ordnance and Remnants of War Destruction project (EXPLODEplus)

Remnants of war, aging, and overstocked ammunition stockpiles are constant safety and security threat for the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. 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 they pose a threat to the local community adjacent to a storage location. The primary risk related to aging ammunition stockpile management is Uncontrolled Explosions of a Munition Site (UEMS), which can cause loss of life, damage to infrastructure and inherently diminish development opportunities within the wider area.

During the period January 2010 – March 2020, globally, there have been 242 unplanned explosions of munitions sites with over 9,190 human casualties. Simultaneously, seven incidents of this type occurred in the region (Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia), causing seven deaths and 35 injured persons.

The risk of illicit proliferation is secondary in this case, but present, in such a way that ammunition poses a transnational security threat. The potential proliferation of ammunition and weaponry from BiH within the region further to EU countries can lead to increased instability and enhance the likelihood of criminal and terrorist activities.

The latest data from EUFOR (24 November 2020) illustrates that the Ministry of Defence/Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MoD/AF BiH) are currently managing up to 12,100 tonnes ammunition stockpiles in total. Considering that AF BiH require 7,500 tonnes of ammunition to be fully operational, there are some 4,600 tonnes of surplus ammunition. Within this surplus, 2/3 of the ammunition should be designated for disposal due to its condition and inability to overhaul and store them further. 

By fulfilling the stockpile reduction planned in 2021, it is expected that the total quantity of ammunition stockpile of MoD/AF BiH will drop below 10,000 thus enabling a sustained stockpile management system within MoD/AF BiH. Also, aside from the surplus quantities, some of the prospective items within the envisaged 7,500 tonnes of formation kit are expected to come to an end of their shelf life; thus, they will have to be considered for overhaul or disposal through one of three methods: a) destruction (industrial demilitarization/detonation); b) donation; and/or c) sales.

Funding Support by

Delivery in previous fiscal year

EXPLODE+ Project  

The project represents a specialized case by case support action to the MoD/AF BiH in the disposal of highly hazardous, complex systems ammunition deemed unsafe for future storage or prone to the proliferation of non-prospective items. The support is carried out through industrial demilitarization solutions. The project was initiated in 2015 as a complementary and more flexible multi-donor project portfolio to support the ongoing EXPLODE Project and the overall implementation of the Ammunition, Weapons and Explosives Master Plan (AWE Master Plan) that is an MoD BiH-owned and EUFOR-coordinated mechanism for resource of operations management of all partners engaged in dealing with the establishment of sustainable ammunition and weapons stockpile management system of MoD/AF BiH, as well as overall risk reduction in country.

EXPLODE + Project components:

  1. Disposal of remnants of war - to improve safety and security in BiH and provide support to defence and security reform processes in BiH, including democratic governance of security and defence sectors, thus enabling development opportunities within BiH.
  2. 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 UEMS.

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, the Western Balkans Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control Roadmap Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), and the US State Department in amount of $ 7,540,175.80 in total. Over the years, these financial means aided in:

  • Disposal of over 1,370 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:
    • Three facilities within TROM, Doboj
    • Ten ammunition storage facilities at ASS Krupa Hadžići
    • The guard and administration building at ASS Krupa Hadžići
    • The replacement of 16 security doors on 16 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 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 support to sustained ammunition stockpile management system of MoD/AF BiH

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 and the  Western Balkans Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control Roadmap Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF)

Project value

USD 7,540,175.80

Partners:

United Nations Development Programme, Ministry of Defense BiH/Armed Forces (MoD/AF BiH), the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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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