Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 31 July 2015

Five-Year Review: State Party Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ratified the convention on 7 September 2010. It views its ratification law as sufficient to ensure implementation of the convention’s provisions. BiH has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention and has elaborated its views on important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention.

During the 1992–1995 war, Yugoslav forces and non-state armed groups used cluster munitions. BiH has acknowledged past production of cluster munitions. In 2011 and 2012, BiH completed the destruction of a stockpile of 445 cluster munitions and 148,059 submunitions.

Policy

Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 7 September 2010, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 March 2011.

BiH has declared its ratification law under national implementation measures for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[1] In September 2013, it stated that, “all the necessary legislation is in place.”[2]

BiH submitted its initial Article 7 report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 20 August 2011 and has provided annual updated reports ever since, most recently in June 2015.[3] 

BiH actively participated throughout the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, making strong contributions based on its experience as a country affected by cluster munitions and declaring a national moratorium on cluster munition use prior to the conclusion of the process.[4]

BiH engages in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San Jose, Cost Rica in September 2014, where it made statements on clearance. BiH has attended all of the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva. BiH has participated in regional workshops on the convention and attended a mine action symposium in Biograd, Croatia on 27–29 April 2015, which included discussion on cluster munitions.[5] BiH served as the convention’s coordinator on victim assistance in 2012–2013 together with Afghanistan.

BiH has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use.[6]

Interpretive issues

In July 2011, the director of the department of conventional weapons of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs elaborated the ministry’s views on a number of issues important for the interpretation and implementation of the convention. On the prohibition on assistance with prohibited acts during joint military operations or “interoperability,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “under the same Article 21, para 3, we may engage in joint military operations with non-states Parties that might engage in activities prohibited by the Convention, however our personnel or nationals should not provide assistance with activities prohibited by the Convention.”[7]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the “transit of cluster munitions across, or foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on, the national territory of States Parties is prohibited by the Convention.”[8] The ministry, however, noted that it does not have “access to or information on weapon types” stockpiled in European Union Force (EUFOR) military bases “on our territory.”[9] In May 2013, a Ministry of Defense official said the ministry has not inquired about the status of any foreign cluster munitions stored on EUFOR military bases in BiH.[10]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also stated that it considers “investment in the production of cluster munitions to be prohibited.”[11]

BiH is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, and transfer

Yugoslav forces and non-state armed groups used available stocks of cluster munitions during the 1992–1995 war. The various entity armies inherited cluster munitions during the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In its initial Article 7 report, BiH declared, “There are no production facilities for CM [Cluster Munitions] in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”[12]

BiH has acknowledged past production of cluster munitions and first stated in 2007 that production had ceased.[13] It produced KB-1 and KB-2 submunitions for the Orkan multi-barrel rocket system, artillery projectiles, and mortar bombs.[14] The production capacity included the ability to manufacture KB-series submunitions and integrate them into carrier munitions such as artillery projectiles and rockets.[15] According to Jane’s Information Group, the Ministry of Defense produced the 262mm M-87 Orkan rocket, each containing 288 KB-1 dual-purpose submunitions.[16] It also lists BiH armed forces as possessing KPT-150 dispensers (which deploy submunitions) for aircraft.[17]

Stockpile destruction

BiH once possessed a stockpile of 445 cluster munitions of three types and 148,059 submunitions, as listed in the following table.

Cluster munitions formerly stockpiled by BiH[18]

Quantity and type of munition

Quantity and type of submunition

56 M-93 120mm mortar bombs

1,288 KB-2 (23 per container)

56 M-87 Orkan 262mm rockets

16,128 KB-1 (288 per container)

321 BL-755 bombs

47,187 Mk-1 (147 per container)

12 M-87 Orkan 262mm rockets

75,163 KB-1

Individual submunitions

4,815 KB-1 and 3,478 KB-2

445

148,059

 

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, BiH was required to destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2019.

In September 2012, BiH announced that the completion of its destruction of “all known and reported stocks of cluster munitions in 2011” and declared that it has “fulfilled all obligations relating to Article 3” of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[19]

A total of 441 cluster munitions and 147,967 submunitions were destroyed in 2011, while 16,128 KB1 submunitions from M-87 Orkan 262mm rockets were destroyed in 2012,[20] along with four M-93 120mm mortar bombs containing 92 submunitions discovered after the 2011 stockpile destruction.[21] In 2014, the Ministry of Defense informed Landmine Survivors Initiatives that it destroyed the four bombs and their submunitions by open detonation.[22]  

In June 2015, BiH reported the destruction of 341 KB-1 submunitions on 16 April 2014 at Pretis in Vogosca.[23] It reported the discovery of the KB-1 submunitions in Pretis as well as four KB-2 submunitions in Krupa, Hadzici in the 2013 and June 2014 Article 7 reports.[24] On 17 June 2014, a cache of 114 KB-2 submunitions was found behind a house near Sarajevo.[25] According to the Federal Civil Protection the submunitions were taken to Lapov Do in Koniic municipality and destroyed the same day.[26]

Retention

BiH is not retaining any cluster munitions for research or training purposes.[27]



[1] The 2011 report cited Parliamentary Decision 514/10 of 28 May 2010 and the BiH Presidential Decision of 17 June 2010 approving ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 20 August 2011. Subsequent Article 7 reports have indicated no change to the national implementation measures declared in 2011.

[2] Statement by Ivica Dronjic, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of BiH to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 12 September 2013. Previously, officials indicated that BiH was considering national legislation to enforce the ban convention. CMC meeting with Tarik Serak, Director of Department, BiH Mine Action Center, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2013; and interview with Anesa Kundurovic, Director of Conventional Weapons Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sarajevo, 6 April 2012.

[3] The Article 7 reports submitted by BiH cover annual periods and were submitted on 20 August 2011 (for calendar year 2010), 4 May 2012 (for calendar year 2011), in November 2013 (for calendar year 2012), on 13 June 2014 (for calendar year 2013), and in June 2015 (for calendar year 2014).

[4] For details on BiH’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 44–45.

[5] The workshop was organized by the Regional Arms Control Verification and Implementation Assistance Centre (RACVIAC) Centre for Security Cooperation in Southeast Europe and the government of Croatia’s Office for Demining and Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC).

[6]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. BiH voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.

[7] Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011. Anesa Kundurovic noted that the views expressed to the Monitor “represent the position of MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] and may or may not differ from the interpretation of other relevant institutions, including but not limiting [sic] to the Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces, etc.”

[8] In addition, the ministry noted, “in accordance with Article 3, paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Convention transfer is allowed only in exceptional cases” such as “for the purpose of destruction or for example, for the purpose of development of cluster munition countermeasures.” Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011.

[9] Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011.

[10] Email to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the BiH Ministry of Defense, 17 May 2013.

[11] Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011.

[12] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form E, 20 August 2011.

[13] Statement of BiH, Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, 22 February 2007. Notes by the CMC/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

[14] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 11 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[15] Statement of BiH, Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, 21 February 2008. Notes by the CMC.

[16] Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), p. 720.

[17] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 836.

[18] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, 20 August 2011, and 4 May 2012.

[19] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012.

[20] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 18 April 2012.

[21] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. In May 2013, the Ministry of Defense informed the CMC that the destruction was approved, but the cluster munitions had not been destroyed yet. Email to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the BiH Ministry of Defense, 17 May 2013.

[22] Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Ministry of Defense, 3 April 2014. BiH did not declare destruction of the munitions in its 2014 Article 7 report, which covers activities in calendar year 2013. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, dated April 2014 but submitted 13 June 2014. The Ministry of Defense subsequently confirmed that four M-93 120 mm mortar bombs were destroyed on 1 April 2014 by open detonation at the Glamoc polygon. Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Ministry of Defense, 24 July 2014.

[23] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, June 2015.

[24] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, dated April 2013 but submitted in November 2013. On 9 April 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations stated the munitions are under its jurisdiction and would be destroyed. Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, 9 April 2014.

[26] Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Federal Civil Protection, 8 April 2015

[27] It declared that the “Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are not planning to keep in possession the cluster munitions that will be intended for the purpose of training and education.” Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form C, 20 August 2011, and 4 May 2012. In 2013, it reported 20 KB-1 submunitions had been retained by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) for mine detection dog training purposes. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, November 2013. According to NPA, 30 inert KB1 submunitions—which have no fuzes—have been retained for training mine detection dogs. Email from NPA, 17 June 2014.


Impact

Last updated: 27 March 2021

Jump to a specific section of the chapter:

Treaty Status Management & Coordination | Impact (contamination & casualties) Addressing the Impact (land release, risk education, victim assistance)

Country summary

Twenty years after the end of the armed conflict in 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) remains the most heavily mined country in Europe. In the aftermath of the war, mine action was decentralized and a large number of organizations, commercial and non-commercial, have conducted demining operations. Better coordination and regulation of the mine action sector began with the creation of the Demining Commission of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) in 2002.

BiH became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty in March 1999. It has since requested a 10-year extension in 2008, followed by a two-year interim extension in 2018 to carry out survey activities to better define the perimeter of areas contaminated by mines. In June 2020, BiH submitted another extension request, seeking an additional six years to complete mine clearance, until 1 March 2027.

BiH is also contaminated by cluster munition remnants, but on a smaller scale. BiH became a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in March 2011. In 2020, BiH submitted an 18-month extension request to complete clearance by 1 September 2022.[1]

Risk education in BiH is conducted as part of survey and clearance operations, and is also provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Cross Society of BiH, which conducts risk education in schools and local communities. In 2019, a campaign was developed to provide risk education to cross-border migrants, with materials printed in five languages. BHMAC also employs emergency and permanent marking of minefields and suspected contaminated areas.[2]

BiH established a Mine Victim Assistance Coordination Body (MVACB) in 2018 to assist victims of mines and cluster munitions. While there is legislation in place to prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) report that the legislation is not effectively implemented.[3]

Treaty status

Treaty status overview

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party

Article 5 clearance deadline: 1 March 2027

 

Convention on Cluster Munitions

State Party:

Article 4 clearance deadline: 1 September 2022

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

State Party

 

Management and coordination

Mine action management and coordination

Mine action management and coordination overview[4]

Mine action commenced

1997

National mine action management actors

  • Demining Commission, under the Ministry of Civil Affairs
  • BHMAC, established in 2002. Headquarters in Sarajevo, with regional offices in Banja Luka, Bihac, Brčko, Mostar, Pale, Sarajevo, Travnik, and Tuzla

UN Agencies

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Other actors

  • Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)
  • European Union (EU) Delegation in BiH, European Union Force (EUFOR), European Commission

Mine action legislation

  • Demining Law adopted in 2002. Amendment was proposed in 2017, but proceedings were suspended in July 2020

Mine action strategic and operational plans

  • National Mine Action Strategy 2002–2009
  • National Mine Action Strategy 2009–2019
  • National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025

Mine action standards

National Mine Action Standards

 

The Demining Commission, within the Ministry of Civil Affairs, supervises BHMAC and represents BiH in its relations with the international community on mine action.[5] It is responsible for setting mine action policy and proposes the appointment of senior BHMAC staff. 

Strategies and policies

Lack of progress in achieving the target of a mine-free BiH by 2019, as outlined in the National Mine Action Strategy 2009–2019, was attributed primarily to funding shortfalls,[6] the scale of the landmine problem in BiH, non-functional minefield records, and limiting climate conditions.[7]

The new National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025 was developed in 2017 with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). The strategy was adopted in January 2019, and addresses all contamination in BiH including landmines and cluster munition remnants.

Two key strategic objectives of the strategy are to improve information management systems and gain a clearer picture of the extent of contamination.[8] Since March 2019, work has been ongoing to better define the precise perimeter of mined areas, and as a result, the objectives of the plan have been adjusted to reflect an expected completion date for mine clearance of 2027. 

Legislation and standards

In 2002, the Demining Law was adopted in BiH as a legal framework for all aspects of mine action. In 2017, a draft of amendments to the Demining Law was proposed and presented to the Council of Ministers, but has not yet been approved. As of July 2020, legislation proceedings related to the law in the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH were suspended.[9]

Three chapters of new National Mine Action Standards on land release, non-technical survey and technical survey were adopted in January 2016.[10]

BHMAC supervises and carries out quality control and quality assurance of operators based on the Standard Operating Procedures for Humanitarian Demining in BiH, and accredits operators in the mine action sector. BHMAC issues quality control certificate to operators as evidence that their activities are being undertaken in accordance with the national Demining Law and International Mine Action Standards (IMAS).[11] 

Information management

The first goal of the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025 is to ensure sound information management standards, tools, and processes in BiH.[12] The UNDP’s Mine Action Governance and Management Project, which began in 2017, aims to assist BiH’s mine action authorities to increase transparency, improve planning capabilities, and implement mine action standards.[13] As part of this, UNDP is supporting a project funded by the European Union (EU)[14] to improve information management through the development of an online database.[15] The database will use Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) Core, adjusted to the specific needs of BHMAC.[16] However, up to April 2019, BHMAC was using its own information management system, the BiH Mine Action Information System (BHMAIS).[17] 

Gender and diversity

One of the strategic goals contained in the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025 is to ensure that the mine action program in BiH is gender sensitive and respects diversity.

Risk education management and coordination

Risk education management and coordination overview[18]

Government focal points

BHMAC

Coordination mechanisms

BHMAC oversees and regulates all risk education activities

Coordination outcomes

Regular coordination between BHMAC and the organizations conducting risk education activities

Risk education standards

Mine Risk Education Standards

Accreditation Guide for Mine Risk Education Organizations

Mine Risk Education Sub-Strategy 2009–2019

 

Coordination

BHMAC is responsible for the identification of target groups and prioritizing risk education. BiH reported that all risk education activities take gender and age into consideration.

BHMAC is also responsible for the accreditation of risk education operators in BiH, with licenses approved and signed by the Demining Commission. Monthly risk education reporting is included within the BHMAIS database.[19]

Organizations undertaking risk education hold regular meetings at the national level, though there is no formal coordination mechanism.[20]

Strategies and policies

A Mine Risk Education Sub-Strategy was in place for 2009–2019,[21] and a national risk education plan of action is included in the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025. 

National Standards and guidelines

Risk education is conducted in accordance with national Mine Risk Education Standards.[22] There is also an Accreditation Guide for Mine Risk Education Organizations working in BiH [23]

Victim assistance management and coordination

Victim assistance management and coordination overview[24]

Government focal points

BHMAC

Coordination mechanisms

Coordinating Body for Assistance to Victims of Mines, Cluster Munitions and ERW; established May 2018

Coordination regularity and outcomes

  • Two coordination meetings held in 2019, and adoption of Rules of Procedure stipulating that meetings were to be held depending on the work plan and annual program
  • The Coordinating Body plans to hold quarterly meetings

Plans/strategies

  • Federation of BiH 2016–2021 Strategy for the Advancement of the Rights and Status of Persons with Disabilities
  • Republic of Srpska 2017–2026 Strategy for Improving the Social Conditions of Persons with Disabilities
  • Mine Victims Assistance Action Plan drafted in 2019, in line with the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025
  • Local community development action plans, which also cover disability issues

Standards

  • Victim Assistance Strategy BiH
  • Victim Assistance Sub-Strategy 2009–2019

Disability sector integration

 

  • The BiH Council of Persons with Disabilities is included in the Coordinating Body, which work together to raise awareness of the needs of mine/ERW victims
  • The National Council of Persons with Disabilities does not recognize mine victims as a particular affected group

Survivor inclusion and participation

Mine/ERW survivors and their representative organizations are included in the Coordinating Body, but they are not included to a sufficient extent in terms of contributing toward the planning and provision of victim assistance

Note: ERW=explosive remnants of war.

Strategies

The National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025 has a specific victim assistance objective to ensure the equal participation of mine/ERW victims in society, identify and address the needs of victims, and promote opportunities through rights-based assistance which recognizes diversity.[25] 

Laws and policies

In 2019, several improvements were reported in mine/ERW regulations, including the Regulation on Pension and Disability Insurance, Regulation on Social Protection, and Regulation on Health Protection.[26] Government support for war veterans was prioritized in 2019.

Laws in BiH prohibit discrimination against disabled persons; yet discrimination in employment, social and health protection continued, while disability allowance payments were often delayed. 

Despite laws requiring increased accessibility to buildings for persons with disabilities, authorities rarely enforced these requirements. Human rights NGOs continued to report that many new public buildings continued to be built without being made accessible for persons with disabilities. NGOs also reported that the government did not effectively implement laws and programs advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in BiH.[27]

Impact

Contamination

Contamination overview[28]

Landmines

966.68km² (CHA: 20.75km² and SHA: 945.93 km2)

Extent of contamination: Massive

Cluster munition remnants

2.31km²

Extent of contamination: Small

Other ERW contamination

BiH is heavily contaminated by other ERW

Note: CHA=confirmed hazardous area; ERW=explosive remnants of war; SHA=suspected hazardous area.

 

BiH is massively contaminated with landmines and ERW, including cluster munition remnants primarily as a result of the 1992–1995 conflict related to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.[29]

Landmine contamination

BiH is the most heavily mined country in Europe. Most contaminated areas are in the area between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS).[30]

Minefields in BiH generally contain relatively small numbers of landmines. A 2016 National Audit Office report on the efficiency of the demining system concluded that 20 years after the end of the war, BHMAC did not have complete information on the location of landmines.[31] In 2019, BiH had still not defined the full extent of mine contamination, although it has been undertaking a country assessment project since 2018, funded by the EU.[32] BHMAC reported that as of the end of 2019, around 70% of minefield locations had been mapped.[33]

In BiH’s revised Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 extension request of August 2020, contamination as of May 2020 was reported to be a total of 966.68km², of which 20.75km² are CHA and 945.93km are SHA.[34]

Cluster munition remnants contamination

In December 2019, BHMAC reported 2.31km² of cluster munition remnants contamination in nine locations.[35] This represented a reduction of 4.1km² from 6.3km² of total contamination reported in 2018.[36]

BiH stated at the Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties in 2019 that 3.6km² had been “separated” as “non-conventionally contaminated areas” following non-technical survey (NTS).[37] In its Article 7 report for 2019, BiH reported clearing only 0.7km² and did not provide information on the release of land suspected to contain cluster munition remnants by methods other than clearance.[38]

This indicates that BiH may have misinterpreted the definitions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions when calculating the area reduced, without formally declaring the area as released by survey in Article 7 reporting.[39]

BiH has not clarified if the area separated from recorded cluster munition contaminated areas is contaminated with unmodified KB-1 and/or KB-2 Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) scattered individually as single submunitions, or if these were locally-manufactured M93 rifle grenades with KB-1 and KB-2 cluster submunitions, modified in the production of the weapon. If the former, such contamination clearly constitutes cluster munition remnants, according to the definitions under Article 2 of the convention.[40] If the latter, it constitutes a different munition which is not covered by the convention.

Casualties

Casualties overview[41]

Casualties

All known mine/ERW casualties (between 1992 and 2019)

8,120 (including 6,354 casualties in 1992–1995 and 1,766 since 1996)

Casualties in 2019

Annual total

6 (increased from 3 in 2018)

Survival outcome

2 killed, 4 injured

Device type causing casualties

4 antipersonnel mine, 2 mine/ERW (device type inconsistently reported)

Civilian status

6 deminers

Age and gender

6 adult men

Note: ERW=explosive remnants of war.

Casualties in 2019: details

Although the six casualties in 2019 represented an increase from three in 2018, it remained similar to the seven casualties recorded in 2017. As a general trend, annual casualties have decreased since 12 were reported in 2016. Three casualties were reported in 2018, seven in 2017, and two were recorded in 2015. 

All casualties in 2019 were deminers. There were two registered demining accidents in which two deminers were killed and four were injured.

The first accident occurred in June 2019 near Gorazde, when two Mines Advisory Group (MAG) deminers were injured. In its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report for 2019, BiH reported this as a “mine” accident. However, BHMAC reporting the item as a rifle grenade, and thus ERW. In local terminology, rifle grenades are called “tromblonske mines,” which may sound like a type of mine. Some locally produced rifle grenades include cluster submunition components, but the specific type of item responsible for the accident was not reported.[42] The other accident occurred in August 2019 in Kupres, in which two deminers were killed and two injured. All were from the Association Pazi Mine. The accident was believed to have been caused by a PMR 3 antipersonnel stake mine.[43] 

BHMAC reported a total of 8,120 recorded mine/ERW casualties. Bosnia reported that during the war period (1992-1995) there were 6,354 casualties, while in the post-war period, there were 1,766 casualties, (617 people killed and 802 injured, and 347 unknown).[44] The total number of demining casualties recorded is 133, of which 53 were killed.[45]

Cluster munition casualties

No cluster munition casualties have been recorded in BiH since 2016, when a casualty from an unexploded KB-1 cluster submunition was reported.[46] Prior to the 2016 incident, the last recorded unexploded submunition casualties in BiH occurred in 2009.

BiH has reported 231 total cluster munition casualties as of 2019 (226 civilians and five deminers) of which 46 were killed and 185 injured. BiH reported that data on these casualties was incomplete.[47] However, discrepancies in reporting of cluster munition casualties occurred in a statement made by BiH in September 2019.[48] It was not reported how many were included in the general BHMAC mine/ERW casualty database, nor was it specified whether these included casualties from cluster munition attacks.[49] At least 86 casualties during cluster munition strikes in 1995 were identified.[50] 

Addressing the impact

Mine action

Operators and service providers

Clearance operators[51]

Government

  • Armed Forces of BiH
  • Federal Administration of Civil Protection
  • The Civil Protection of Republic of Srpska
  • Red Cross Society of BiH
  • Brčko District Civil Protection

National NGOs

  • Association UEM
  • DEMIRA
  • Eko Dem
  • IN DEMINING
  • Mine Detection Dog Center in BiH
  • Posavina Without Mines (Posavina Bez Mina, PBM)
  • Pro Vita
  • Stop Mines
  • Udruga “Pazi Mine Vitez”
  • Udruženje za obuku pasa”Trening Tim”

National commercial organizations

  • Centre for Humanitarian Disarmament
  • Detektor
  • Eksploring Monitoring
  • Minemon Monitoring
  • N&N Ivsa
  • Point, UEM
  • Trotil

International NGOs

  • Mines Advisory Group (MAG), since 2017
  • Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), since 1996

Note: NGO=non-governmental organization.

Clearance

Land release overview[52]

Landmine clearance in 2019

0.53km² cleared; 3.3km² released through technical survey

Ordnance destroyed in 2019

963 antipersonnel mines, 19 antivehicle mines, 389 ERW

Landmine clearance in 2015–2019

2015: 1.64km²

2016: 1.33km²

2017: 0.82km²

2018: 0.92km²

2019: 0.53km²

Total land cleared: 5.24km²

Cluster munition remnants clearance in 2019

0.72km² released through clearance and technical survey

Cluster munition remnants destroyed in 2019

85 cluster munition remnants

Cluster munition remnants clearance in 2015–2019

2015: 0.99km²

2016: 0.86km²

2017: 0.27km²

2018: 0.28km²

2019: 0.72km²

Total land cleared: 3.12km²

Progress

Landmines

BiH was granted a third extension for a period of 6 years until March 2027

Cluster munitions

Expects to complete clearance in 2023

Note: ERW=explosive remnants of war.

Clearance of mine affected areas is behind target, but progress has been made due to the EU-funded country assessment project, which conducted NTS in all remaining suspected mined areas, and has resulted in an improved baseline of contamination that informed planning for BiH’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 extension request, submitted in 2020. However, land release in 2019 was delayed partly due to the six months taken to appoint members of the Demining Commission. The projected targets for cancellation and clearance during the interim request period were only partially met.

BiH has reduced the total amount of land thought to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants, must provide further explanation on land labeled as “non-conventionally contaminated” and whether this contamination falls under its Convention on Cluster Munitions clearance obligations.

Land release: landmines

In late 2019 and early 2020, land release operations in BiH faced delays after the expiration of the term of the Demining Commission in October 2019, followed by a delay in the appointment of new members until April 2020. During this time, operator accreditation was unable to take place, causing delays in the start of the demining season and deployment. In addition, there was a shortfall in expected financial resources compared to the projections in the National Mine Action Strategy, while the COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in reduced operations during March–June 2020.[53]

Between July 2018 and May 2020, BHMAC, the Armed Forces of BiH, and NPA conducted a “Country Assessment of SHAs in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” funded via European Commission emergency grants. The project surveyed 1,030km2of SHA and defined a total of 488 polygons.[54] The polygons were adjusted to the optimal size of between 1.7km² and 2.5km². The project aimed to increase the efficiency of mine action in BiH through the establishment of a realistic baseline of contamination. The survey was carried out by 14 NTS teams (nine from BHMAC, two from the Armed Forces of BiH and three from NPA). The project continued through 2020.[55]

In 2019, BiH reported clearance of 0.53km² of contaminated land and reduction of 3.3km² through technical survey.[56]

Land release: cluster munition remnants

BiH reported clearing 0.72km² of land contaminated by cluster munition remnants in 2019.[57] BiH did not submit a Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 report for calendar year 2018. BiH’s annual report on mine action, produced by BHMAC, stated that 0.28km² was cleared in 2018, and 1,009 submunitions were destroyed.[58] In 2019, BiH reported that a further 3.6km² was “separated” from the total contamination during NTS, as it is considered “non-conventionally contaminated.”[59] It was not reported to what extent previous clearance occurred in these areas.

Risk education

Operators and service providers

Risk education operators

Type of Organization

Name of organization

Type of activity

Governmental

Armed Forces of BiH

Risk education, marking and emergency marking

The Ministry of Civil Affairs

Support to development of risk education mobile app

National

BHMAC

Risk education, marking and emergency marking

Mine Detection Dog Center (MDCC)

Risk education integrated with clearance and survey

Posavina Without Mines (Posavina Bez Mina, PBM)

Risk education

Red Cross Society

Risk education integrated with other humanitarian assistance

International

UM EUFOR

Risk education

Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)

Risk education integrated with clearance and survey

 

Beneficiary numbers

Beneficiary numbers 2019[60]

Operator

Beneficiaries

UM EUFOR

19,260

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

2,035

Red Cross Society (RCS)

15,000

Total

36,295

 

BiH has not provided beneficiary data disaggregated by sex and age. A total of 36,295 people were reached through 11 risk education projects conducted in 2019. The projects were implemented by UM EUFOR, NPA and the Red Cross Society.

Implementation

Risk education in BiH is provided via public communication, education and community liaison activities. Several operators provide risk education integrated into survey and clearance activities. NPA risk education teams are fully integrated into their technical survey and clearance program.[61]

Risk education is conducted predominantly in rural areas, but also in urban areas (through targeting children with risk education messages) and at migrant camps. 

Red Cross Society (RCS) risk education instructors in BiH are trained and accredited by BHMAC, with financial and technical support from ICRC. These volunteers work at community level.[62]

Risk education is not a part of the formal school curriculum in BiH, but is included as an informal curriculum at primary level, with materials provided to teachers. RCS also conducts risk education in schools through their “Think Mines” project, that involves around 25,000 children and initiates competitions around safer behavior during a ‘‘risk education week’’ in December.[63] 

Risk education is conducted via mass media such as television and radio, and through social media channels. BHMAC is developing a mobile phone application on mine risk education with support from UNDP, but this had not yet been released as of June 2020.[64]

Target groups

A mine/ERW victim database, originally developed RCS and handed over to BHMAC in 2005, is available with updated information on mine victims, listed by community.[65] BHMAC reports that the target population is prioritized for risk education activities based on age, gender and cultural habits of those affected, and areas with the most contamination.[66] Incidents occur most frequently during the spring and autumn seasons, and among men in agricultural communities.[67]

Mine/ERW incidents primarily occur in forested areas, and most are caused by PROM‐1 bounding fragmentation mines.[68] Economically vulnerable populations are the most exposed to mine/ERW contamination, as they often knowingly enter contaminated areas, even if those areas are marked as being contaminated, for livelihood activities.[69]

Hunting and fishing are high-risk activities. The risk is often exacerbated by misplaced confidence on knowledge of the location of minefields. Other at-risk groups include farmers, firefighters (due to insufficient verification of the presence of mines/ERW at fire scenes), children (due to a lack of mine awareness and curiosity) and migrants (due to lack of mine awareness, lack of understanding or lack of adequate attention to marking signs and waring messages in contaminated areas).[70]

In 2019, BHMAC, in cooperation with the Border Police, NPA, ICRC and RCS, organized several meetings to develop risk education messages for cross-border migrants on the risk of mine/ERW contamination. Materials (banners, leaflets, and posters) were developed in five languages (Arabic, English, Farsi, Pashtu, and Urdu) for 10 locations. Mobile RCS teams disseminated leaflets.[71]

During 2019, two courses were held for risk education instructors, attended by 50 participants from various organizations working in the mine action sector.[72] 

Marking

BHMAC uses emergency marking and permanent marking in contaminated areas. In 2018–2019, 4,091 emergency marking signs were placed, while 1.26km² of SHA was permanently marked.[73] This included marking near migrant routes and at a migrant center. BHMAC reported placing 43 urgent marking signs around areas suspected to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants.[74]

Victim assistance

Victim assistance providers and activities

Victim assistance operators[75]

Type of organization

Name of organization

Type of activity

Governmental

Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH

Victims’ rights, and implementation of conventions related to mine victims

Ministry of Health (Federation of BiH)

Public health services, community-based rehabilitation

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare(Republika Srpska)

Public health services, community-based rehabilitation

Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (Federation of BiH)

Employment and training

Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (Republika Srpska)

Employment and training

Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (Federation of BiH)

Employment and training

Ministry of Refugees and Displaced Persons of BiH

Resolving housing problems of mine victims

National

Interdepartmental Body for Persons with Disabilities (Republika Srpska)

Improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities

Organization of Amputees (Organizacija Amputiraca, UDAS)

Socio-economic inclusion, peer-to-peer support, sport, cultural activities, advocacy, provision of information, empowerment of mine survivors and women with disabilities, legal advice

Eco Sport Group (Eko Sport Grupa, ESG)

Scuba diving, social integration, physical and psychological rehabilitation

Posavina Without Mines (Posavina Bez Mina, PBM)

Awareness-raising

STOP Mines, Pale

Economic inclusion

International

Workers' Samaritan Federation (Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, ASB)

Income-generation and socio-economic inclusion

Hope 87

Social inclusion, education and training

ITF Enhancing Human Security

Prosthetics, rehabilitation, assistive devices, psychosocial support, socio-economic inclusion, inclusive sport

Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI)

Prosthetics, physical rehabilitation

Miracles Center for Prosthetics and Care, Mostar

Prosthetics

World Vision

Social inclusion, education and training

 

Major Developments in 2019

An EU-funded project, “Socio-economic empowerment of mine victims and their families through provision of business training and grants,” ended in 2019.[76]

A three-year project, “Integrated socio-economic support to landmine victims in BiH,” also funded by the EU and implemented jointly by World Vision and UDAS, continued to support 60 mine/ERW victims in 2019. UDAS also organized events with local authorities and disseminated brochures on peer-to-peer support and disability inclusive employment.[77] In 2019, a network of five support groups for women with disabilities was established within UDAS.[78] 

In terms of accessibility for mine/ERW survivors within the physical environment in BiH, an “e-administration” tool has been introduced for removing physical barriers.[79] UDAS conducted an assessment in 2019 on the physical accessibility of 20 schools and six public institutions in BiH.[80]

Needs assessment

BHMAC continues to update the BHMAIS database, and makes the data available for all interested parties.[81] It was not reported how the transition to IMSMA would influence information sharing.

Medical care and rehabilitation

BiH reported §that it possessed the required capacity in its health system to provide medical care to mine/ERW survivors, to the fullest extent needed.[82] 

Survivors are provided with services in clinical centers, hospitals, spas, and 63 community-based rehabilitation centers for mental and physical rehabilitation.[83] Local rehabilitation centers provide services such as making and fitting prostheses.[84] Although health insurance covers costs of basic prosthetic devices, there were differences in coverage based on the cause and type of disability.[85]

Many activities related to healthcare, physical rehabilitation services and economic inclusion were suspended in early 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. UDAS has established support groups in many local communities to respond to the challenge posed by the pandemic.[86] Personnel from the community-based rehabilitation centers also assisted in training nine peer-to-peer support groups, including 63 mine survivors. [87]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

ASB continued to conduct income-generation projects. In 2019, 11 beneficiaries received livestock and greenhouses, while 31 mine/ERW survivors received agricultural equipment and tools.[88] The project ended at the end of 2019.[89] ITF Enhancing Human Security organized inclusive sports events in 2019.[90] Social assistance services are available throughout BiH, at both entity and canton level.[91]



[1] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties Geneva, 2 September 2019.

[2] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form F.

[3] United States (US) Department of State, “2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 11 March 2020.

[4] See, BHMAC, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” undated, p. 8; response to Monitor questionnaire by Ljiljana Ilic, BHMAC, 7 August 2020; and BiH Parliamentary Assembly, ‘‘Proposal of Law on Amendments to the Law on Demining in Bosnia and Herzegovina,’’ undated.

[5] The Demining Commission is composed of representatives from three ministries (Civil Affairs, Security, and Defense), each elected for a two-year term. The functioning of demining activities in BiH are fully dependent on the smooth and effective operation of the Demining Commission. In October 2019, the term of office of the commission expired and new members were not appointed until 30 April 2020. The delay led to the expiration of accreditation of mine clearance organizations at the beginning of 2020, and subsequently disrupted progress in several areas of mine action. See, Official Gazette of BiH, No. 29/20, ‘‘Decision: Appointing Members to the Demining Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina,’’ 30 April 2020; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 22 June 2020, p. 6.

[6] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2013, p. 2.

[8] BHMAC, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” undated, p. 16.

[10] Email from Saša Obradović, BHMAC, 30 August 2019.

[12] BHMAC, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” pp. 15–16.

[13] UNDP, “BIH MAGMA Project,” 2020.

[15] Statement of GICHD, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, Geneva, 7 June 2018; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 7 September 2018, p. 6.

[17] Email from Ljiljana Ilić, BHMAC, 24 April 2019.

[18] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Zorica Lucic, Movement Cooperator Coordinator, ICRC, 29 April 2020.

[20] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Zorica Lucic, Movement Cooperator Coordinator, ICRC, 29 April 2020.

[21] BHMAC, ‘‘Mine Risk Education Sub-Strategy 2009–2019,’’ undated.

[22] BHMAC, ‘‘Mine Risk Education Standards,’’ 6 December 2004.

[24] Information on victim assistance management and coordination in BiH obtained in responses to Monitor questionnaire by Esher Sadagić, BHMAC, 4 March 2019; by Ljiljana Ilic, BHMAC, 7 August 2020; by Željko Volaš, UDAS, 30 June 2020; and by Zoran Jesic, UDAS, 4 March 2019; The Coordination Body has 23 members, including representatives of the Ministry of Civilian Affairs of BiH, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Srpska, Ministry of Labor and Veterans of the Republic of Srpska, Ministry of Health of the Federation of BiH, Ministry for Veterans and Disabled Veterans Issues of the Federation of BiH, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the Federation of BiH, Ministry of Veterans of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Republic of Srpska Red Cross, Federation of BiH Red Cross, BiH Red Cross, BHMAC, BiH Council of Persons with Disabilities, Organization of Amputees Republic of Srpska (Organizacija amputiraca UDAS Republike Srpske, UDAS), World Vision, Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, STOP Mines Pale, ECO Sport Group Sarajevo, and Posavina Without Mines Brcko. List obtained in email from Zoran Jesic, UDAS, 31 May 2018. The questionnaire responses state the Rules of Procedure for coordination meetings were adopted at one of the meetings in 2019. The rules themselves, however, state that they were adopted by the body at a meeting on 12 Dec 2018. See, Rules of Procedure of the Coordinating Body for Assistance to Victims of Mines, Cluster Munitions, and Explosive Remnants of War, article 9 paragraph 4.

[25] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings (virtual), 1 July 2020.

[26] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[28] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 25 August 2020, p. 16; and Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings (virtual), 30 June–2 July 2020.

[29] BiH CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2016), Form A.

[30] In close proximity to the Inter-Entity Boundary Line (IEBL). BiH consists of two entities: the Republika Srpska, comprising one level of local self-government, and the Federation of BiH, consisting of 10 cantons.

[31] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, p. 5. Since 2016, no further audit has been conducted and report submitted. For more details visit: Audit Office of the Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

[32] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 25 August 2020, pp. 5 and 10.

[33] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form C.

[34] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 25 August 2020, p. 16; and Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings (virtual), 30 June–2 July 2020.

[35] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Ljiljana Ilic, BHMAC, 7 August 2020; and BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form F, p. 14.

[36] BHMAC Annual report for 2018.

[37] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2–4 September 2019.

[38] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019) Form F, p. 15.

[39] BiH states that “Out of the total area suspected of residual cluster munition contamination, 2.7 km2 is the result of individually fired submunition KB-1 from modified AK-47 rifles. When used in this manner, and according to the Convention on Cluster Munition, individual items of submunition of KB-1 type are not defined as cluster munition.” See, BHMAC, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ undated, p. 26.

[40] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 2.6 states: “Abandoned cluster munitions” means cluster munitions or explosive submunitions that have not been used and that have been left behind or dumped, and that are no longer under the control of the party that left them behind or dumped them. They may or may not have been prepared for use. And, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 2.7 states: “Cluster munition remnants” means failed cluster munitions, abandoned cluster munitions, unexploded submunitions and unexploded bomblets.

[41] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H; email from Ljiljana Ilić, BHMAC, 6 March 2018; and Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” undated, p. 6. Data for 2017 provided by Ljiljana Ilić, BHMAC, 6 March 2018.

[42] BHMAC, “Accident near Goražde: two deminers injured,” 25 June 2019; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[43] BHMAC, “Two deminers were killed and one injured in Kupres” 26 August 2019; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[44] Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2019, (undated), p. 6. In 2018, BHMAC reported 8,386 mine/ERW casualties (1992-1995) 6,354 during the war, 1,761 in the post war period, and 274 with the year of incident not recorded. See: Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2018 (undated), p. 6.

[45] Ibid.; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[46] Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” undated, p. 6; interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, and Saša Obradovič, BHMAC, in Geneva, 9 February 2017; and email from BHMAC, 23 March 2017.

[47] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[48] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 September 2019. The statement reported that: ‘‘Since 1992, a total of 195 persons in BiH were victims of CM, 35 of them with lethal outcome. The highest number of casualties occurred in the period from 1992–1995, during the wartime events: the total of 172, out of which 31 with lethal outcome.”

[49] Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” undated, p. 6.

[50] Handicap International (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 60. Some 60 more casualties were reported during an aerial strike in which cluster munitions were used along with other weapons.

[51] In relation to the NGOs operating in BiH, there are discrepancies within its Mine Ban Treaty extension request, submitted in 2020. On page 24, it is reported that 14 NGOs operate in BiH (11 national, 3 internaional). However, in the table on the following page, only 12 NGOs are listed.

[52] Data on ordnance destroyed in 2019 obtained in BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form C, p. 8; data on cluster munition remnants clearance for 2019 from BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form F, p. 15; and data on cluster munition remnants clearance for 2018 from Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2018,” undated.

[54] Ibid. pp. 10–11.

[55] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request, Annex 5, ‘‘Draft Demining Plan in BiH for 2020,’’ 22 June 2020, p. 14.

[56] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report (for calendar year 2019), Form C.

[57] BiH Convention on Cluster munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form F, p. 15.

[58] Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2018,” undated.

[59] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2–4 September 2019.

[60] See, BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form I, p. 21. Of the 37,000 RCS BiH beneficiaries, 25,000 children were involved in ‘‘Think Mines’’ project. Response to Monitor questionnaire by Zorica Lucic, Movement Cooperation Coordinator, ICRC, 29 April 2020.

[61] Email from Rasmus Sandvoll Weschke, Conflict Preparedness and Protection Adviser, NPA, 5 June 2020.

[62] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Zorica Lucic, Movement Cooperator Coordinator, ICRC, 29 April 2020.

[63] Ibid.

[64] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 22 June 2020, p. 5; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Zorica Lucic, Movement Cooperator Coordinator, ICRC, 29 April 2020.

[65] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Zorica Lucic, Movement Cooperator Coordinator, ICRC, 29 April 2020.

[67] Ibid., p. 20

[68] Interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 20 March 2015; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request(revised), 7 September 2018, p. 16.

[69] BHMAC, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” undated, p. 5; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Ljiljana Ilić, BHMAC, 7 August 2020.

[70] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Željko Volaš, UDAS, 30 June 2020.

[71] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form I, p. 22.

[72] Ibid.

[74] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form G.

[75] Information on victim assistance operators obtained in response to Monitor questionnaire by BHMAC, 27 April 2018; and by Zoran Jesic, UDAS, 4 March 2019. See also, Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2018,” undated, p. 21; BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2018), Form J; Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, “ASB in Bosnia and Herzegovina awarded mine victims with large cattle,” 6 June 2019; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form J; and US Department of State PM/WRA, “To Walk the Earth in Safety (2019),” 3 April 2019, p. 34.

[76] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Ljiljana Ilić, BHMAC, 7 August 2020.

[77] See, UDAS website; and BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form J.

[78] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Željko Volaš, UDAS, 30 June 2020.

[79] Ibid.

[80] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[81] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form J.

[82] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Interview with Amir Mujkić, President, Association of Veterans with Disabilities Zavidovići, Orthopedic Workshop, Zavidovići, 30 March 2017.

[85] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[86] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Željko Volaš, UDAS, 30 June 2020.

[87] BiH Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form J.

[88] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.

[89] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Ljiljana Ilić, BHMAC, 7 August 2020.

[90] ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual report 2019,” 13 March 2020, p. 35.

[91] BiH Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 12 November 2019

Policy

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 8 September 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. On 29 December 2004, parliament approved a law amending the criminal code to apply penal sanctions for violations of the treaty.[1]

BiH attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November 2018, where it submitted an Article 5 mine clearance deadline extension request.[2] BiH also attended the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2018, making statements on victim assistance, as well as providing an update on mine clearance.[3]

BiH is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. BiH is also party to Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, illegal stores, and use

BiH has stated that production of antipersonnel mines ceased by 1995.[4] It has reported on the conversion of production facilities.[5] BiH is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines.

In past years, authorities on numerous occasions found illegal stores of mines, but none have been explicitly reported since 2006.[6] In addition, nearly 40,000 mines were collected from the population under Operation Harvest until 2006.[7]

After BiH joined the treaty, the Monitor noted several cases of mine use in criminal activities, but no such incidents have been reported since 2003.[8]

Stockpile destruction and retention

BiH declared completion of its antipersonnel mine stockpile destruction program in November 1999, with a total of 460,727 mines destroyed.[9] This number has been amended annually since 2003, increasing each year to a total of 530,365 mines in BiH’s Article 7 report covering calendar year 2018.[10] No explanation has been given by BiH for these changes. Presumably, they result from newly discovered stocks, mines turned in by the population, or illegal mines seized from criminal elements.[11]

In September 2006, BiH reported that it had discovered more than 15,000 MRUD (Claymore-type) directional fragmentation mines during inspections of weapon storage sites.[12] It said that although the mines were not specifically prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, BiH had made a decision to destroy the mines for humanitarian reasons as well as to show its commitment to the aims of the treaty.[13] BiH reported that, as of April 2007, about 5,000 mines had been destroyed, with the intention to complete destruction in May 2007, but it has not provided information on completion.[14]

Mines retained for research and training

At the end of 2018, BiH retained 834 antipersonnel mines for training purposes.[15] BiH’s Article 7 reports submitted in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 have indicated that all of the retained antipersonnel mines are fuzeless.[16]

BiH has stated that its retained mines are used for training mine detection dogs.[17] While providing more information about its retained mines, BiH has still provided few details on the intended purposes and actual uses of these mines, and has failed to use expanded Form D on retained mines with its annual transparency reports, as agreed by States Parties in 2004.



[1] “Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Official Gazette, No. 61/04. Article 193a forbids the development, production, storage, transportation, offer for sale or purchase of antipersonnel mines. The penalty for such offenses is between one and 10 years’ imprisonment.

[2] Statement of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26 November 2018.

[3] Statement of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, Geneva, 22 May 2019.

[4] Interview with members of the Demining Commission, Sarajevo, 30 January 2003. BiH inherited the mine production facilities of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Bugojno, Goražde, Konjic, and Vogošc.

[5] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 193; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2007.

[6] The Dayton peace accord allows international military forces to search for and collect illegally held weapons, including mines. For more details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 183.

[7] Operation Harvest began as a Stabilisation Force (SFOR) initiative in 1998 to collect unregistered weapons from private holdings under amnesty conditions. From 1998 to late 2006, about 38,500 landmines were collected. The European Force (EUFOR), which took over from SFOR in December 2004, has not conducted any Operation Harvest arms collection activities since 2006, but retains the right to do so. For more details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 183.

[8] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 194.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 1 February 2000. Destruction was carried out at various locations by the two entity armies with SFOR assistance. The stockpile consisted of 19 types of mines.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 2019.

[11] In 2003, SFOR found very large additional quantities of antipersonnel mines among old munitions, after the entity armies requested assistance with downsizing military storage sites and dealing with old munitions in storage. An SFOR publication reported that several hundred thousand antipersonnel mines were awaiting destruction at these sites. By March 2004, 2,574 antipersonnel mines, 31,920 antivehicle mines, and 302,832 detonators had been destroyed. The Monitor has been unable to obtain updated information on further destruction or new discoveries at storage sites of antipersonnel mines. The BiH government has not formally reported the existence of these newly discovered stocks of antipersonnel mines, has not provided details on numbers and types of mines, and has not made known the timetable for destruction of the mines. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 202.

[12] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 184.

[13] BiH stated that the mines are “designed to be used with an electrical initiation system,” and therefore are not considered antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty. However, it also noted that “since they are not adapted to ensure command-detonation, MRUD mines can be technically considered as anti-personnel mines.” Statement by Amira Arifovic-Harms, Counselor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 20 September 2006. Use of Claymore-type mines in command-detonated mode is permitted under the Mine Ban Treaty, but use in victim-activated mode (with a tripwire) is prohibited.

[14] In April 2007, BiH indicated that of the 15,269 MRUD mines, 14,701 mines would be destroyed by mid-May 2007, 396 were transferred to EUFOR for training, 20 were donated to Germany, and two were destroyed immediately. BiH intended to retain about 150 mines for training. The 14,701 mines were transported to a workshop in Doboj, and by mid-April 2007, about 5,000 had been destroyed. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2007.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 2019.

[16] See Form B of Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports submitted in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. In its Article 7 report submitted in April 2007, BiH did not state that any of the retained mines were fuzeless, while its report submitted on 30 May 2006 stated that 876 retained mines were fuzeless and 1,299 were active. BiH has not explained these changes.

[17] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Annex “Review on Number of Retained Mines in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 30 May 2006.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 15 December 2023

In 2022, international contributions for mine action in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) totaled US$7.7 million from six donors. This represented a decrease of 20% from the total international contribution in 2021. The largest contributions were from the United States (US), which provided $4.7 million, and Germany, which provided $2.3 million. The combined contributions of the US and Germany represented 90% of the total contribution to BiH in 2022.[1]

Most of the international support in 2022 went towards clearance and risk education activities ($7.5 million, or 97%), while $0.2 million (3%) went to victim assistance.

International contributions: 2022[2]

Donor

Sector

Amount

(national currency)

Amount

(US$)

United States

Clearance, risk education, victim assistance

US$4,665,000

4,665,000

Germany

Clearance, victim assistance

€2,200,000

2,317,480

Japan

Capacity-building, risk education

¥47,087,150

358,189

Switzerland

Clearance, risk education

CHF149,000

156,021

Slovenia

Victim assistance

N/R

102,472

Czech Republic

Clearance

CZK2,143,035

91,936

Total

 -

N/A

7,691,098

 Note: N/A=not applicable; N/R=not reported.

In 2022, the government of BiH contributed BAM16.3 million ($8.8 million) to its own mine action program.[3] 

Five-year support for mine action

In the five-year period from 2018–2022, BiH has contributed more than half of its total mine action budget ($58.2 million, or 58%), with international support accounting for $41.9 million (42%).

BiH’s most recent Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 extension request, submitted in 2020, projected that a mine action budget of more than $200 million would be required for the period 2021–2027. BiH reported that half of this total would be funded by national resources, while the remainder would need to be secured from international donors.[4]

Summary of contributions: 2018–2022[5]

Year

National contribution (US$)

International contribution (US$)

Total mine action budget (US$)

2022

8,814,388

7,691,098

16,505,486

2021

9,200,000

9,600,000

18,800,000

2020

9,117,098

9,559,664

18,676,762

2019

18,789,467

6,892,948

25,682,415

2018

12,300,000

8,161,885

20,461,885

Total

58,220,953

41,905,595

100,126,548

 

 


[1] Czech Republic: Czech Republic Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), Form J. Germany: Germany Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), Form I; and Germany Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), Form J. Japan: response to Monitor questionnaire by Akifumi Fukuoka, Deputy Director, Conventional Arms Division, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7 September 2023. Slovenia: ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2022,” March 2023, p. 20. Switzerland: Switzerland Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), pp. 2–3. United States: US Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA), “To Walk the Earth in Safety: 1 October 2021–30 September 2022,” 4 April 2023. For Article 7 reports, see Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[2] Average exchange rates for 2022: CZK0.0429=US$1; CHF0.9550=US$1; €1=US$1.0534; ¥106.78=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 9 January 2023.

[3] Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC), “Mine Action Annual Report 2022,” undated, p. 33. Average exchange rate for 2022: BAM0.540676=US$1. Xe.com.

 

[5] See previous Support for Mine Action country profiles. ICBL-CMC, “Country Profiles: Bosnia and Herzegovina,” undated; and ICBL, Landmine Monitor 2022 (ICBL-CMC: Geneva, November 2022).