Increasing safety of all citizens - 1,839 pieces of small arms and light weapons, and components smelted

On Saturday, 17 October 2020, 12 police agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina together with the SALW Coordination Board destroyed 1,839 pieces of small arms and light weapons (SALW), and their parts and components in the Jelšingrad industrial smelting facility in Banja Luka proving the country’s commitment to international arms control frameworks, safety of its citizens and regional and international security and stability.

The event was funded by the European Union (EU) through UNDP SEESAC and supported by UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The SALW was collected by the police agencies through a range of law enforcement activities and some of the weapons were voluntarily surrendered by the citizens.  

The objective of the event was to increase public safety and security, as well as to diminish the risk of SALW proliferation by significantly reducing the number of weapons in BiH.

In the last two years*, according to our Armed Violence Monitoring Platform a total of 986 firearm-related incidents in BiH were recorded, including 463 incidents in criminal contexts, 184 weapon seizures, 91 incidents of misuse of firearms in public disputes, 44 deaths, and 41 suicides.

This activity contributes to the destruction of SALW and the SALW Strategy of BIH, but also to the implementation of the Western Balkans Roadmap for SALW control. Since 2017, authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with support from the EU, UNDP BIH and UNDP SEESAC, disposed more than 18,500 SALW and their parts and components. With weapons and ammunition systematically destroyed, Bosnia and Herzegovina highlights once again its commitment to combating arms trafficking for the safety and security of its citizens and the entire region. 

Since 2002, UNDP SEESAC assisted the authorities in the region of South East Europe to destroy over 338,000 pieces of SALW. This activity is financed through EU Council Decision (CFSP ) 2019/2111 in support of disarmament and arms control activities in South East Europe.

* The data refers to 2018 and 2019.