10 August 2020 marked an important date in Montenegrin history. 10 years to the day after the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force, Montenegro could proudly declare itself free of these deadly weapons.
From 2018 to 2020, Norwegian People's Aid assisted Montenegro in achieving its obligations to get rid of cluster munition remnant (CMR) contamination within the Article 4 of the Cluster Munitions Convention deadline. These weapons have posed a danger to civilians living in Montenegro since the NATO bombing campaign in 1999.
NPA released a total of 1,850,900 m2 of land previously contaminated with CMR on ten locations in the municipalities of Rožaje, Golubovci and Tuzi. 88 CMRs were found, and as per national rules and regulations, safely destroyed by the Montenegrin Directorate for Emergency Response.
The land release was conducted in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior (Mol) and the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) with generous support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has enabled access to land for agriculture, harvesting, and use of wood for the timber industry, including manufacturing. The clearance also enabled access to land for recreation and tourism, supporting the development plans of the country, further enabling wider and more sustainable positive impact for Montenegro.
NPA successfully completed our operations on 21 July 2020, reaching 100% of our commitments in order to reduce the risks from cluster munitions and other explosive weapons in populated areas to a level where civilians can live safely, and development is not constrained. Following this, Montenegro could proudly declare compliance with the CCM Article 4 on 1 August 2020.