EUFOR and OSCE host “WEAPON WORKSHOP” – fate of 60,000 small arms weapons to be decided
Wednesday 30 November to Thursday 1 December saw a “WEAPON WORKSHOP” which took place in Hotel Sarajevo. Jointly hosted by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and EUFOR, the aim was to extend the current master plan regarding weapons disposal. The event was attended by representatives from OSCE, EUFOR, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), NATO HQ Sa European Union and delegates from the USA, UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Opening the two day workshop COMEUFOR Major General Schrötter said: “The main goal of this two day conference is to ensure that International co-operation is continuing and therefore we need to discuss and review our commitments.”
The workshop was a platform for discussion, resulting in an agreement in the International Community of the extension of their commitment to the Master Plan. This positive result will be presented as an agreed International Partner proposal at the Strategic Board meeting 5 December 2016. The aspiration of the Master Plan is the stockpile management, the stock check including marking and registration, as well as safe storage or safe disposal of all surplus weapons and ammunition in BiH.
Bosnia and Herzegovina still has a substantial amount of surplus military small arms. There are currently over 60,000 small arms weapons which require registering officially or safe disposal. The company Small Arms Survey (SAS) will register and officially tag any light weapons that are of operational use.
EUFOR Althea continues to provide expert advice in the framework of our Capacity Building and Training Programme. EUFOR Althea works in support of BiH alongside other members of the International Community in order to build their capacity to manage the excessive stockpiles of ammunition and weapons.
As well as ensuring a safe and secure environment in BiH, the eventual disposal of all unusable weapons will free up the many AFBiH soldiers charged with guarding and maintaining the 30 weapon storage sites throughout BiH.
EUFOR Operation Althea is currently made up of soldiers from 15 EU member states and 5 partner nations. Its primary roles are to provide capacity building and training support to the Armed Forces of BiH and to support BiH efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment, whilst providing support to the overall EU comprehensive strategy for BiH.
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