Almost 20 years after the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still contaminated with landmines. One of the most endangered municipalities when it comes to landmines is the municipality of Vareš in Zenica-Doboj canton which was visited today by Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States Nicholas Hill and representatives of BH MAC.
They visited the village Ravne in the municipality which has a returnee population, and although part of this village has been cleared of landmines, only a few hundred meters behind a house of a returnee there are still yellow tapes and signs that warn of the danger of landmines, also witnessed today by journalists who visited this village.
Hill today told reporters that it is important to continue to focus on resolving the issue of threat of landmines, and to solve this problem, it will take many more years.
“Now, we are focusing on projects that will have a direct impact on a large number of the population living near minefields. It does us great satisfaction to see that these projects have a direct impact on the lives of ordinary people,” said Hill.
Since 1999, the United States has invested more than 92 million dollars in programs of destruction of conventional weapons in order to reduce stockpiles of conventional ammunition and landmines.
Hill announced that the U.S. government would continue to support demining projects because it is quite clear that this is not a problem that will disappear overnight.
About 25 hectares in the municipality of Vareš has not yet been cleared of landmines, and the whole village Ravne, which has 80 houses, has also not been cleared, said today coordinator for demining in the municipality of Vareš Ismet Kozlić.