International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Only with joint forces, mines at the territory of Republika Srpska, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brčko District, can finally be removed
As part of the implementation of MSA Vojkovići, the municipality of Istočna ilidža, and on the occasion of marking April 4, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center, in cooperation with the BiH Armed Force, once again draws attention to the fact that our country is still one of the most mine-contaminated contries in Europe and in the world, with over 500,000 endangered citizens.
Along with the representatives of local authorities, domestic and foreign organizations and the medias, the event was also attended by Dr. Thomas Fitschen, Ambassador of the Republic of Germany in BiH and Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden in BiH, whose countries are one of the leading donors for the demining process in our country.
After the war, 1781 people died of mines, 624 of them fatally. 134 were deminers (53 fatal).
During 2022 and 2023, two people died in the area of Lukavac and Doboj, while collecting firewood and scrap materials in a mine-marked area.
The demining process is at a slow pace, because the planned and promised sums for these purposes has not been allocated from all levels of government. And only good political will and efficient coordination can lead to the adequate solutions and the final elimination of remaining mine explosive devices.
The size of the suspected dangerous mine area in Bosnia and Herzegovina is about 860 km2 or 1.69% of the total country size.
Bosnia and Herzegovina received an extension of the deadline for the removal of all remaining landmine explosives according to the Ottawa Convention, and the new deadline specifies that our country will be cleared by 2027.
Saša Obradović, Director of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center, emphasized that in 2022, the suspected dangerous area was reduced for 52.74 km2, with 3,529 mines and 1,833 explosive devices found.
So far, 3,340 km2 have been liberated and returned to the use in our country, where over 80,000 mines and 64,000 residual explosive remnants from the war, have been destroyed.
At the MSA Vojkovići project, Istocna Ilidža, around 50 mine explosive devices have been found so far, and demining will enable safe access to the local quarry, the state prison, and plots of local residents, which are not used due to the existence of mine hazards.
The project is located on the very border between the Federation and Republika Srpska, and it covers all known mine-suspected areas in the municipality of East Ilidža, so with its implementation, the municipality of East Ilidža will be free from mine hazards.
Finally, we would like to once again appeal to the population to strictly respect the mine warnings, and it is very important to avoid unknown areas and stay on safe surfaces.
The mobile application with mine-suspected areas in our country is available to everyone and can be downloaded from the Google and Apple stores, and the link can be found at www.bhmac.org.