Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last Updated: 02 November 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures 

Amended criminal code in December 2004 to apply penal sanctions for treaty violations

Transparency reporting



Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)[1] signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 8 September 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. On 29 December 2004, parliament approved a law amending the criminal code to apply penal sanctions for violations of the treaty.[2]

BiH submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, covering calendar year 2010. It used voluntary Form J to provide additional information on casualties, mine clearance, and victim assistance. BiH submitted eleven previous Article 7 reports.[3]

BiH attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, where it made a statement on its progress since being granted a mine clearance deadline extension and a statement on victim assistance. BiH also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in June 2011, making statements on victim assistance, as well as providing an update on mine clearance.

BiH is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. BiH is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It submitted an annual report as required by Article 13 in 2009.  BiH is also party to Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, illegal stores, and use

BiH has stated that production of antipersonnel mines ceased by 1995.[4] It has reported on the conversion of production facilities.[5] BiH is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines.

In past years, authorities on numerous occasions found illegal stores of mines, but none have been explicitly reported since 2006.[6]  In addition, nearly 40,000 mines were collected from the population under Operation Harvest until 2006.[7]

After BiH joined the treaty, the Monitor noted several cases of mine use in criminal activities, but no such incidents have been reported since 2003.[8]

Stockpile destruction and retention

BiH declared completion of its antipersonnel mine stockpile destruction program in November 1999, with a total of 460,727 mines destroyed.[9] This number has been amended annually since 2003, increasing each year to a total of 513,844 mines in BiH’s Article 7 report covering calendar year 2010.[10] No explanation has been given by BiH for these changes. Presumably, they result from newly discovered stocks, mines turned in by the population, or illegal mines seized from criminal elements.[11]

In September 2006, BiH reported that it had discovered more than 15,000 MRUD (Claymore-type) directional fragmentation mines during inspections of weapon storage sites.[12] It said that although the mines were not specifically prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, BiH had made a decision to destroy the mines for humanitarian reasons as well as to show its commitment to the aims of the treaty.[13] BiH reported that, as of April 2007, about 5,000 mines had been destroyed, with the intention to complete destruction in May 2007, but it has not provided information on completion.[14]

Mines retained for research and training

At the end of 2010, BiH retained 1,962 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, as well as 23 MRUD.[15] BiH’s Article 7 reports submitted in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 have indicated that all of the retained antipersonnel mines are fuzeless.[16]

The total number of mines retained at the end of 2010 indicates a decrease of 268 mines and two MRUD from the number reported at the end of 2009.[17] BiH had reported increases in the number of mines retained in 2006, 2007, and 2008.[18] The number of MRUD reported as retained has decreased each year since 2006.[19] BiH has not given any explanation for the increases, decreases, or overall inconsistencies in its reporting on the number of retained mines over the last several years.

Of the 1,962 antipersonnel mines (other than MRUD) reported as retained at the end of 2010, 877 are held by demining agencies, 557 by the BiH Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC), 330 by the BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC), 125 by the BiH Armed Forces, three by the RS Civil Protection Agency, and 70  by the FBiH Civil Protection Agency.[20]

BiH has stated that its retained mines are used for training mine detection dogs.[21] While providing more information about its retained mines, BiH has still provided few details on the intended purposes and actual uses of these mines, and has failed to use expanded Form D on retained mines with its annual transparency reports, as agreed by States Parties in 2004.


[1] BiH is an independent state, but under international administration. The 1995 Dayton peace accord set up two separate entities: a Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), and the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska, RS), each with its own president, government, parliament, police, and other bodies. Overarching these entities is a central government and rotating presidency. In addition, the district of Brčko is a self-governing administrative unit, established as a neutral area placed under joint Bosniak, Croat, and Serb authority.

[2] “Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Official Gazette, No. 61/04. Article 193a forbids the development, production, storage, transportation, offer for sale or purchase of antipersonnel mines. The penalty for such offenses is between one and 10 years’ imprisonment.

[3] Previous reports were submitted 10 May 2010 (for calendar year 2009) in 2009 (for calendar year 2008), 2008 (for calendar year 2007), April 2007, 30 May 2006, 6 May 2005, 17 May 2004, 1 April 2003, 20 May 2002, 1 September 2001, and 1 February 2000.

[4] Interview with members of the Demining Commission, Sarajevo, 30 January 2003. BiH inherited the mine production facilities of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Bugojno, Goražde, Konjic, and Vogošc.

[5] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 193; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2007.

[6] The Dayton peace accord allows international military forces to search for and collect illegally held weapons, including mines. For more details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 183.

[7] Operation Harvest began as a Stabilisation Force (SFOR) initiative in 1998 to collect unregistered weapons from private holdings under amnesty conditions. From 1998 to late 2006, about 38,500 landmines were collected.  The European Force (EUFOR), which took over from SFOR in December 2004, has not conducted any Operation Harvest arms collection activities since 2006, but retains the right to do so. For more details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 183.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 1 February 2000. Destruction was carried out at various locations by the two entity armies with SFOR assistance. The stockpile consisted of 19 types of mines.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, (undated, covers calendar year 2010). The number was amended in previous years to 460,925 for year 2003, to 461,634 for year 2004, to 462,351 for year 2005, to 463,198 for year 2006, 463,489 for year 2007, and to 463,921 for year 2008, and 464,267 for year 2009. See Form G of Article 7 reports submitted each year.

[11] In 2003, SFOR found very large additional quantities of antipersonnel mines among old munitions, after the entity armies requested assistance with downsizing military storage sites and dealing with old munitions in storage. An SFOR publication reported that several hundred thousand antipersonnel mines were awaiting destruction at these sites. By March 2004, 2,574 antipersonnel mines, 31,920 antivehicle mines, and 302,832 detonators had been destroyed. The Monitor has been unable to obtain updated information on further destruction or new discoveries at storage sites of antipersonnel mines. The BiH government has not formally reported the existence of these newly discovered stocks of antipersonnel mines, has not provided details on numbers and types of mines, and has not made known the timetable for destruction of the mines. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 202.

[12] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 184, for more details.

[13] BiH stated that the mines are “designed to be used with an electrical initiation system,” and therefore are not considered antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty. However, it also noted that “since they are not adapted to ensure command-detonation, MRUD mines can be technically considered as anti-personnel mines.” Statement by Amira Arifovic-Harms, Counselor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 20 September 2006. Use of Claymore-type mines in command-detonated mode is permitted under the Mine Ban Treaty, but use in victim-activated mode (with a tripwire) is prohibited.

[14] In April 2007, BiH indicated that of the 15,269 MRUD mines, 14,701 mines would be destroyed by mid-May 2007, 396 were transferred to EUFOR for training, 20 were donated to Germany, and two were destroyed immediately. BiH intended to retain about 150 mines for training. The 14,701 mines were transported to a workshop in Doboj, and by mid-April 2007, about 5,000 had been destroyed. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2007.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010), Form D. The 1,962 antipersonnel mines include 212 PMA-1, 675 PMA-2, 583 PMA-3, 324 PMR-2A, three PMR-2, five PMR-3, 152 PROM-1, and eight PMR-Capljinka.

[16] See Form B of Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports submitted in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.  In its Article 7 report submitted in April 2007, BiH did not state that any of the retained mines were fuzeless, while its report submitted on 30 May 2006 stated that 876 retained mines were fuzeless and 1,299 were active. BiH has not explained these changes.

[17] The number of some types of mines has increased, while the number of other types has decreased. BiH did not provide an explanation for these changes. There was a decrease of 61 ROB, two PMA-1, and four PMR-2A mines, and an increase of seven PMA-2, 14 PMA-3, eight PROM-1, and three PMR-2 mines compared to the totals reported retained at the end of 2008. No PMR-2 mines were reported to be retained in 2008.

[18] The number of antipersonnel mines retained by BiH increased each year from 1,550 mines at the end of 2006, to 1,619 mines at the end of 2007, to 2,274 mines at the end of 2008.  See Form D of the Article 7 reports submitted in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  See also Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 206, for comparative detail.

[19] BiH has reported a decrease in the number of MRUD retained, from 158 at the end of 2006, to 157 at the end of 2007, to 116 at the end of 2008, to 16 at the end of 2009 14 at the end of 2010. See Form D of the Article 7 reports submitted in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010), Form D. A comparison of the Article 7 reports for years 2009 and 2010 indicates that antipersonnel mines, other than MRUD, held by demining operators decreased by 69 in 2010 (mines held by the Canadian International Demining Corps decreased by 38 PMA-1 mines, 12 PMA-3 mines, 28 PMR-2A mines, increased 23 PMA-2 mines and six PROM-1 mines; mines held by Norwegian People’s Aid increased by three PMA-1 mines, 18 PMA-2 mines, 17 PMA-3 mines, 21 PMR-2A mines, and decreased 10 PMR RP mines; mines held by FBiH Civil Protection Agency decreased by 10 PMA-2 and 10 PMA-3 mines and one PROM-1 mine, and increased 28 PMR-2A mines (from zero); mines held by BHMAC decreased by one PMA-1 mine, ECO-DEM held 35 antipersonnel mines (increase from zero); and the number of mines held by MDDC, RS Civil Protection Agency, and the BiH Armed Forces, Stop Mines, UXB-Balkans, Demira, Provita and BH Demining  remained unchanged. No PMR-RP mines were reported to be retained by any organization in 2010.

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Annex “Review on Number of Retained Mines in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 30 May 2006.