On Friday 14 July, the official signing of the EUSTAR project took place at the European Union Force of Bosnia and Herzegovina HQ in Camp Butmir, Sarajevo. The EUSTAR (European Union Assistance to Stockpile Management, Technical Support, and Ammunition Surplus Reduction) represents the second phase of European Union’s support to the establishment of sustainable stockpile management in BiH. The project is the successor to the EXPLODE project which witnessed the disposal of more than 1,800 tons of ammunition over its life cycle.
The EUSTAR Project will see close cooperation between local authorities (MoD and Armed Forces of BiH) and international actors (EU, EUFOR and UNDP) – to coordinate and implement activities designed to contribute to the disposal of around 3,000 tons of unsafe and unstable ammunition, and complex weapon systems.
The excessive stockpiles of ammunition and associated problems continue to pose a significant danger to human security and infrastructure in BiH. The AFBiH are responsible for the management of ammunition located in 12 storage sites throughout the country. All ammunition currently in stock is not only over several decades old, but also at the end of its life cycle, becoming increasingly hazardous as time passes.
EUSTAR shall continue supporting the MoD of BiH and the AFBiH in the disposal of unsafe ammunition, utilizing already developed technological capacities, procedures and manpower established under the EXPLODE Project. The aim is to further increase the pace of destruction, which currently stands at approx. 2,000 tons per year.
The Commander of EUFOR, Major General Anton Waldner, gave a speech at the official signing and stated; “A significant reduction of the stockpile within 2017 and 2018 is crucial in finally establishing the entire sustainable Life-Cycle-Management System of Ammunition within the Armed Forces of BiH.” He then went on to thank the VIPs and audiences for their “continued commitment to the JOINT EFFORT in helping the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities maintain a Safe and Secure Environment.”