Record-breaking number of security institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina united to destroy weapons

9 December 2017, Jelšingrad, Banja Luka

11 police agencies destroyed 1,258 small arms and light weapons (SALW) and 1,197 parts and components in the Jelšingrad industrial smelting facility in Banja Luka – amounting to a record-breaking number of security institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina united in such an event.

The objective of the event was to increase public safety and security, as well as to diminish the risk of trafficking by significantly reducing the number of weapons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event was funded by the European Union (EU) and organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, SEESAC and Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities.


Key statements from officials present at the event:

Ermin Pešto, Chairperson of SALW Coordination Board in Bosnia and Herzegovina

“[…] This is the third SALW disposal event this year that is organized by SALW Coordination Board Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEESAC and financed by the EU. […] We are proud to see such a strong response from so many of the security institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Richard Wood, Head of the Rule of Law Section at the Office of the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina

" […] The EU is dedicated to making a safer environment for all, reducing crime and supporting all law enforcement agencies, which is why we encourage this coordinated institutional work in removing weapons from the public domain."

Slobodan Tadić, UDNP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Justice and Security Sector Leader

“[…] As we are approaching the end of the year and the upcoming holidays and festivities, allow me to use this opportunity to invite all of our citizens to behave responsibly with firearms, ammunition and pyrotechnics. […] We invite them to think before they act, think about their surroundings, and the potential consequences of their actions”.

With over 6,000 weapons destroyed since the beginning of this year and a record breaking number of public institutions engaged in one destruction event, Bosnia and Herzegovina is highlighting once more its commitment to combating arms trafficking, for the safety and security of its citizens and the entire region. Since 2002, SEESAC assisted the authorities in the region of South East Europe to destroy over 320,000 pieces of SALW. SEESAC works in South East Europe under the framework of the EU COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2016/2356.