Tuesday, June 22, 2010

US Backs Bosnia and Herzegovina's Efforts to Eliminate Munitions

In late May of 2010, the US announced that it would be working with Bosnia and Herzegovina to destroy over 67,000 small arms and 20,000 tons of surplus conventional ammunition and explosive devices. The US State Department's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement is helping Bosnia and Herzegovina with these efforts. The stockpiles are left overs from the ethnic conflict that raged in the Balkans during the mid 1990s. The ease of access to these illegal conventional weapons was partly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people during the conflict.

Since 1993, however, the US has invested more than 1.5 billions dollars to remove land mines and dispose of small arms in over 47 countries.These efforts are part of the US Humanitarian Mine Action program and the more wider reaching Conventional Weapons Destruction program. Since 2001, these agencies have been responsible for disposing more than 1.3 million weapons and 50,000 tons of munitions world wide. The US Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction initiative has worked to decrease the quantity of conventional weapons in southern europe available and promote security in the region.

-Matthew Thwaites

SOURCES: 'Destroying a Mountain of Munitions'-Voice of America, 'Promoting Security by Destroying Conventional Weapons'- US State Department