The Use of Firearms in Serbia in the First Ten Months of 2014
by Srdjan Hercigonja, SEESAC Intern
Through the Targeting Weapons project, UNDP’s SEESAC initiative has been monitoring the use of firearms in the Republic of Serbia. The interactive online platform Oruzje na meti collects information on the use of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Serbia. Guest visitors, as well as administrators (the SEESAC team), can send reports on the use of firearms to the platform. The reports on the use of SALW in Kosovo* are excluded from the process of information collection.
The SEESAC team collects relevant data on the use of firearms in Serbia, using the most reliable mass media sources. The analysis of the use firearms for the period 1 January 2014 – 31 October 2014 was conducted based on this data.
In the first ten months of the year, 31 incidents were identified in which 54 people died as a consequence of the use of firearms - 36 people were killed, while 18 people committed suicide. Out of the 54 people killed, 5 of them were women and 49 were men.
In six cases, it was possible to identify the deaths as related to domestic violence.
The majority of incidents took place in the central and southern part of Serbia - 35 deaths, while 12 deaths were registered in the City of Belgrade, and 7 in Vojvodina.
In the same period (1 January – 31 October), in 73 incidents registered, 88 people were injured by firearms – 4 women, 83 men, with one case where the identity of the victim is unknown.
The majority of the incidents occurred in central and southern part of Serbia - 29, while 24 cases were identified in the City of Belgrade, and 20 in Vojvodina.
The Targeting Weapons database registered 83 cases of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) confiscation actions in Serbia in the time period covered by the analysis.
Parallel with the cases of deaths and injuries caused by firearms, dozens of incidents were registered where small arms were used or were seen in public. These cases include the use of arms at wedding and baptism celebrations, intimidations using small arms, and other similar situations.
Since the main source of the data collection is the mass media, the gender identity of perpetrators can often not be identified. Also, the number of legal and/or illegal possession of firearms used in the incidents is something that cannot be examined in this analysis, since the media reports usually do not give information on this issue.
For more information on the incidents where firearms were used in the Republic of Serbia, please visit oruzjenameti.org.
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).