Sarajevo, March 9, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
BiH Defence Minister, Marina Pendes, said on Wednesday in Sarajevo that the Ministry and Armed Forces of BiH, in cooperation with international partners, have made significant progress in the process of destroying obsolete weapons and unstable ammunition. Pendes said that in 2013 BiH destroyed 40 tons per month, while just in January this year it destroyed 190 tons.
Pendes told reporters that at a session of the Strategic Committee for Weapons, ammunition and explosives, members discussed activities which are supposed to increase the rate of destruction of surplus weapons and progress in improving conditions in the warehouses of weapons in BiH.
“We didn’t want to repeat in BiH the negative scenarios that have occurred in the region in terms of unstable ammunition and weapons surpluses. In order to prevent that, since 2013 we started these projects and received the support of a significant number of international factors, primarily the United States, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden, as well as NATO, EUFOR, OSCE and UNDP in BiH”, Pendes told the media.
She recalled the conclusion of the BiH Presidency in relation to the models of the resolution of the problem with the surplus weapons and unstable ammunition, which are defined in three ways – sales, donations and destruction. She said that, according to “Doboj Agreement”, 80 percent of funds gained by sale of this weapon goes to entities and 20 percent goes to the BiH state institutions.
“Also, we discussed human resources in the defense sector in BiH and modernization of the locations where weapons, ammunition and military equipment are stored, which also applies to locations where the destruction of unstable ammunition and obsolete weaponry is done”, added BiH Defence Minister.
Pendes chaired the session of the Strategic Committee which was attended by Deputy Defence Minister Boris Jerinic and Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of BiH Ante Jelec with deputies, who are permanent members of this Committee, as well as representatives of the Joint Commission for Defence and Security of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly. The session was attended by the permanent members of the Committee from Office of the EU Special Representative in BiH, the OSCE Mission to BiH, NATO, EUFOR, as well as the Embassy of the United States, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden.