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Issue 7.2, August 2003

Demining Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In February 2002, a unique state-level Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) structure was created. The adopted law created a legal framework for demining operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following is an overview of the BHMAC structure and operations.

by Marija Alilovic, BHMAC


Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a country with the largest mine contamination problem in the region of southeastern Europe. There are an estimated 670,000 mines and 650,000 pieces of UXO on 10,000 locations. The contaminated area is estimated to be over 2,000 sq km, which is over four percent of the total territory of BiH.

BiH started demining activities in 1996 in cooperation with United Nations Mine Action Centre (UNMAC). Local authorities took over the responsibility for the demining operations in 1998 (which included Entity Mine Action Centres with BHMAC as a coordination body and, consisted of entity employees).

In February 2002, a unique state-level BHMAC structure was created. The adopted law created a legal framework for demining operations in BiH. Demining operations are being conducted in accordance with the National Demining Plan, approved by the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers is the authority responsible for mine action implementation—to ensure the implementation of Demining Law through the Demining Commission in BiH. The following is an overview of the structure and operations of the BHMAC since the law was created.

BHMAC Mission and Vision

The mission of the BHMAC is to undertake all available measures and procedures in humanitarian demining operations, risk-area marking and education of the population of BiH, in order to minimize the effect of mines in BiH by 2010.

The BHMAC vision is to enable continuity, stability and long-term conduct of humanitarian demining operations, as well as other mine action, in order to eventually remove all the mines and UXO in BiH.

BHMAC Activities and Operational Goals

BHMAC activities include the following:

The currently available demining capacity includes 86 mine detection dogs and 32 ground preparation machines. Approximately 2,000 trained deminers and 42 governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and commercial companies are also accredited in BiH. Table 1 outlines the required level of humanitarian demining operations for 2003.

 General Survey  - Area to be reduced by general survey: 18.2 sq km
 - Risk area to be surveyed: 123.3 sq km
 Technical Survey  - Area to be reduced by technical survey: 10.4 sq km
 Demining  - Area to be demined: 15.2 sq km
 Permanent Marking  - Area to be marked permanently: 25 sq km

Table 1: Required Level of Humanitarian Demining Operations for 2003.

The following are BHMAC’s operational goals for 2003:

Contact Information

Marija Alilovic
Zmaja and Bosne 8
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: +387-33667-310
Fax: +387-33667-311