On Tuesday, September 12th, TROM Doboj was visited by the representatives of the main stakeholders of the EUSTAR project (European Union Assistance to Stockpile Management, Technical Support, and Ammunition Surplus Reduction): Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, EU Special Representative (EUSR) and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH, Mr. Boris Jerinić, Deputy Minister of Defense, and the Deputy Commander of the Support Command of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH), Brigadier General Gojko Knežević.
In addition EUFOR Chief Of Staff, Brigadier General Szpisják was also present to witness the important work they conduct in support of destroying obsolete ammunition as part of Project’s EU-STAR.
BiH still has a substantial amount of unstable military ammunition. A large part of this was poorly stored and maintained. The presence of unstable ammunition in BiH could cause public safety concerns, and is potential risk to a Safe and Secure Environment. It also constitutes a financial and administrative burden to the AFBiH. The governance and overall control of arms depots, and weapons inspections remains firmly with the competent authorities of BiH. However, it is in the interest of everybody concerned that management and disposal occurs following a safe and secure process.
Project EU-STAR, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UNDP, strongly supports the TROM team to tackle this challenge. In addition within the AWE Master plan all other International partners including EUFOR’s Mission Operation ALTHEA will continue to assist both the BiH Ministry of Defence and AFBiH. EUFOR role consists of technical advice and subject matter expert support, in order to build the capacity of the Armed Forces of BiH, and to manage existing excessive stockpiles of ammunition and weapons.
Mr. Boris Jerinić thanked the European Union, UNDP and EUFOR for their support in the reduction of surplus ammunition in BiH. Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark agreed with the Deputy Minister that a lot has been done but there is more to do. He reminded that “it’s not over until it’s over” and that the EU has provided funding for 2.8 million EURO to complete the last phase of the Masterplan for Ammunition disposal. “I am already looking forward to
“I am already looking forward to reach the magic number of 10.000 tons of reduced ammunition stockpile”, the EUSR said. EUFOR also strives to ensure that a continued Safe and Secure Environment is maintained.
EUFOR continues to support this important endeavor, particularly through its Special Ammunition and Weapons Advisor and Capability Building and Training Division – in support of a safe and secure environment here in BiH.
(Source: eufor/ Written by Lt Cdr Jamie Weller)