Montenegro

Mine Action

Last updated: 01 August 2017

Contaminated by: cluster munition remnants (light contamination) and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 deadline: 1 August 2020
(Unclear whether on track to meet deadline) 

The Republic of Montenegro has estimated that 1.7km2 of land contains cluster munition remnants. No clearance or survey took place in 2016.

Recommendations for action

  • Montenegro should identify and apply as soon as possible the resources necessary to fulfil its Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 clearance obligations.

Contamination

Montenegro has estimated that 1.72km2 of land contains cluster munition remnants.[1] The suspected and confirmed areas are located in two municipalities (Rožaje and Plav) and one urban municipality (Golubovic).[2] Contamination affects five communities.[3]

Two suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) in Plav municipality, namely Bogajice and Murino, have yet to be surveyed as snowy weather conditions prevented access to the area during the survey in 2012–2013.[4]

Montenegro became contaminated with ERW, mainly unexploded ordnance (UXO), as a result of conflicts during the break-up of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.[5] NATO air strikes in Montenegro between March and June 1999 included the dropping of 22 cluster bombs of four different types: AGM-154A JSOW guided missiles, BL755s, CBU-87/Bs, and Mk-20 Rockeyes. These scattered a total of some 4,000 submunitions of four different types: BLU-97A/B, BL755, MK-1, and Mk118.[6] In addition, there is cluster munition contamination in Rožaje, which is the result of the dumping of cluster munitions by the Yugoslav army.[7]

Some unexploded submunitions were collected by units of the Yugoslav army immediately after the NATO air strikes. This initial clearance was carried out in haste, without applying international standards for ERW clearance, and for the most part only visible submunitions were destroyed.[8] Following Montenegro’s independence, cluster munition removal was conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in response to notifications from the public.[9]

Other explosive remnants of war

Montenegro is also heavily contaminated by other ERW, with items of UXO discovered daily throughout the country, on land as well as in rivers and the sea.[10] The NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project, which was launched in Montenegro in 2014 to provide the UXO clearance team of the Directorate for Emergency Situations with assistance in the detection and destruction of UXO,[11] is reportedly coming to an end.[12]

Program Management

The Directorate for Emergency Situations, established in 2006 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is responsible for mine action in Montenegro, performing the role of a national mine action center.[13] Prior to 2017, due to lack of human resources and equipment, the role of the national mine action center had previously been undertaken by the Regional Center for Divers’ Training and Underwater Demining (RCUD), which was set up in 2002.[14]

RCUD and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in December 2012 under which NPA agreed to fund and implement a two-phase project—the “Cluster Munition Convention Completion Initiative for Montenegro”—involving first, non-technical survey, and then technical survey and clearance of areas where the presence of cluster munition remnants was confirmed. NPA agreed to set up a database and to develop capacity for non-technical survey and quality management.[15] The non-technical survey was completed in 2013 but funding for the second phase of the project involving technical survey and clearance, originally expected to start in 2013 and continue throughout 2014,[16] was not secured and as of May 2017 this phase had yet to start.[17]

The Department for UXO within the Directorate for Emergency Situations has only five staff, who are primarily dedicated to clearance of UXO other than submunitions, which comprises the heaviest contamination in Montenegro.[18] Owing to the shortage of funds, responsibility for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) has remained with the police.[19]

Montenegro has requested international assistance to comply with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), for capacity building (training, equipment, vehicles), and for ERW clearance.[20]

Land Release

No planned land release operations took place in 2016.[21]

Survey in 2016

No survey took place in 2016.[22]

A small amount of previously unreported non-technical survey was conducted in 2015 on an area of approximately 10,000m2 around the airport, during which one submunition and one item of UXO were destroyed.[23] Prior to this, no survey had taken place since NPA’s non-technical survey was completed in April 2013.[24]

Clearance in 2016

No planned cluster munition clearance took place in either 2016,[25] or in 2015 or 2014, although in 2014, 6,500m2 of land was cleared after two unspecified items of UXO were found in Golubovci during construction work;[26] and as noted above, in 2015, 10,000m2 of land was released after one submunition and one other item of UXO were found during survey at Golubovci airport.[27]

Article 4 Compliance

Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Montenegro is required to destroy all cluster munition remnants in areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 August 2020. Montenegro should be able complete the remaining clearance well before this deadline if it identifies funding for the remaining survey and clearance.

As of May 2017, however, neither national nor international funding had been secured for cluster munition clearance in Montenegro.[28] Once funding is secured, completion of cluster munition survey and clearance in Montenegro is predicted to take approximately two years. Montenegro continues to seek international cooperation and assistance.[29]

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the mine action research in 2017, including on survey and clearance, and shared all its resulting landmine and cluster munition reports with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form F; and interview with Milovan Joksimović, Head of the Department for Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), Directorate for Emergency Situations, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] NPA, “Cluster Munition Remnants in Montenegro,” July 2013, p. 26.

[4] Ibid.; and interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017; and email, 15 June 2017.

[5] Interview with Veselin Mijajlovic, Regional Center for Divers’ Training and Underwater Demining (RCUD), Bijela, 14 March 2007.

[6] NPA, “Cluster Munition Remnants in Montenegro,” July 2013, p. 21.

[7] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[8] NPA, “Cluster Munition Remnants in Montenegro,” July 2013, p. 22.

[9] Ibid., p. 21.

[10] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[12] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[13] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016); and interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[14] Email from Veselin Mijajlovic, RCUD, 29 July 2012; and Sluzbeni list RCG (Official Gazette of Montenegro), No. 66, pp. 28–32.

[15] NPA, “Cluster Munition Remnants in Montenegro,” July 2013, p. 9.

[16] Ibid., p. 6.

[17] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.; and email from Zoran Begovic, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Administration, 28 June 2012.

[20] Letter from the Permanent Mission of Montenegro to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, “Information from the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro–in context of support for the Mine Action Center,” Ref. no. CCM/4-1, May 2017.

[21] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form F.

[24] Emails from Darvin Lisica, Programme Manager, NPA Bosnia and Herzegovina, 3 March 2015; and from Veselin Mijajlovic, RCUD, 13 May 2016.

[25] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[26] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form F.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Interview with Milovan Joksimović, Directorate for Emergency Situations, Podgorica, 15 May 2017.

[29] Ibid.; Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form F; and letter from the Permanent Mission of Montenegro to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, “Information from the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro–in context of support for the Mine Action Center,” Ref. no. CCM/4-1, May 2017.