West Helps Bosnia Dispose of Yugoslav Weapons

Bosnia and Herzegovina plan to destroy 8.3 tons of remaining old munitions and mine-explosive devices, known as MIMES, by the end of 2020.

The Netherlands has been contributing to the destruction of this unstable ammunition for four years, and this year donation to this goal is worth around 200,000 euros.

Reinout Vos, the Dutch ambassador to Bosnia, and Sezin Sinanoglu, Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, signed a new agreement with Borislav Jezeraski, Bosnia's Assistant Minister of Defence, on Monday in Sarajevo.

It comes after Bosnia earlier received 200,000 euros from Germany to open a fourth laboratory for testing old ammunition, which will help Bosnia to strengthen its capacities to finally resolve this issue.

"This year the money will be primarily used for the destruction of anti-tank missiles. There are still about 8,000 tons of old, dangerous ammunition, which must be destroyed as soon as possible," the German ambassador to Sarajevo, Christiane Hohmann, said in June, at the signing ceremony for the agreement.

Destroying old and dangerous munitions is one of the conditions set by NATO before Bosnia can activate its membership action plan for the Western military alliance.

Most of the ammunition is 25 years old or older, according to Armed Forces of Bosnia data. Most of its dates back to the 1992-95 war, but the age of some of the items cannot be established, the army has said.

The ammunition is being destroyed under UNDP's EXPLODE+ project, which has been disposing of old, dangerous weapons and ammunition in cooperation with the Bosnian army since 2013.

In 2006, Bosnia had 38 tons of munitions and mine-explosive devices. It now has 15 tons, some 7.5 tons of which are for the army...

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