BiH still has one of the most severe land mine problems in the world. This affects the economy and development of the country in many ways but especially with tourism. EUFOR is often seen as being responsible for the mine clearance in this country, but it is not. The responsibility is with the BiH authorities.
At state level, the BiH Demining Law regulates the Demining Commission, the central body responsible for the removal of mine risk in BiH within the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and its technical body is the BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC).
Major General Dieter Heidecker highlights the importance of de-mining capabilities of the Armed Forces of BiH
“EUFOR’s capacity building and training programmes for the Armed Forces of BiH help the Armed Forces to contribute to international crisis management and provide other benefits for the people. One example of this is the de-mining capability of the Armed Forces of BiH and this “double use of forces” includes the use of the armed forces and their assets for other crisis tasks, such as air medical evacuation, emergency engineering capabilities and disaster relief efforts. Smaller countries need to be economical in whatever they do and using the Armed Forces for the benefit of civil affairs, as well as military affairs, is the most economical way of doing this”, the EUFOR Commander said.
Mine Risk Education Instruction
EUFOR conducts Mine Risk Education courses in cooperation with the Armed Forces of BiH, BHMAC and also with the Stop Mines and the International Commission for Missing Persons NGOs. This one week course trains Mine Risk Education instructors to inform people around BiH, and especially children and young people, about Mine Awareness. The last course was held last week in Camp Butmir with 26 participants from the Armed Forces of BiH, NGOs and EUFOR. In 2013 EUFOR trained 17,416 persons through its Mine Awareness programs and around 7,850 were trained by other agencies.