On Wednesday 29 May, in Rajlovac, a briefing was given by EUFOR Specialist Ammunition and Weapon Advisors (SAWAD) to a NATO/EU delegation in order to summarise the progress made by the BiH Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the AFBiH, in weapon registration and management.
BiH MoD are reducing their stockpiles of weapons and ammunition through a transparent process of disposal and are rapidly moving towards a sustainable ammunition and weapons life-cycle management system, this is being supported by a range of organizations, including the HALO Trust and EUFOR.
The Programme Manager for the HALO Trust, Mr. Alexander Maier, said:
“Very good progress has been made since November 18 when Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) started being marked and registered. So far over 12,000 pieces have been registered and we are on track to complete the process by 2020.”
The BiH authorities currently hold over 62,000 SALW consisting of over 300 different types of weapons, the aim is to rationalize the holdings and reduce the number down to 22,500 registered weapons, which will be stored in safe and secure conditions.
Major Alberto Prince, a EUFOR representative, said:
“The marking and registration of these small arms is the second stage of a 3-stage plan which started with the disposal of excess stocks of old ammunition, approximately 1200 weapons are being marked every month.”
When the excess weapons have been donated, sold, or destroyed, the reduced stockpile will mean lower maintenance costs and ensure maximum traceability of these weapons from a non-proliferation perspective; this project is a major confidence-building measure in terms of EUFOR’s primary aim of supporting the maintenance of a safe and secure environment in BiH.