NPA Maps Areas for Unexploded Cluster Sub-munitions in Montenegro

from Norwegian People's Aid
Published on 08 Feb 2013 View Original

Montenegro has not solved its legacy of unexploded cluster sub-munitions left over after the NATO bombing campaign in 1999. Montenegro signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3rd December 2008 and ratified 25th January 2010. Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), Montenegro is required to complete clearance of all areas affected by remnants of cluster munitions under its jurisdiction or control by 1st August 2020.

NPA’s concept and plan of action to release cluster munition contaminated land in Montenegro in the period 2013-2014 constitutes a completion initiative in accordance with obligations Montenegro has as a State Party to the CCM, and will enable the Government of Montenegro to declare the country free of cluster munition remnants after the planned interventions are implemented.

On the 1st of February 2013, NPA Regional Director Emil Jeremic signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Montenegrin authorities, represented by Director of the Montenegrin Center for Divers Training and Underwater Demining, Mr. Veselin Mijajlovic. The MoU regulates the duties and responsibilities of both partners in solving the problem of cluster munitions in Montenegro.

NPA plans to implement a land release operation in Montenegro in co-operation with the Montenegrin Center for Divers Training and Underwater Demining, involving interaction of non-technical survey and technical survey/clearance. In the first phase, a non-technical survey will be carried out, that is mapping contaminated areas and defining areas designated for the second phase, which involves technical survey and clearance. NPA has been involved in similar initiatives in the region, namely in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The survey team to work in Montenegro has experience from Bosnia as well as Serbia, and is engaged from the NPA humanitarian mine action programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This team will work in partnership with and support incapacity building of the Montenegrin Center for Divers Training and Underwater Demining.

Joint training and preparations for project implementation started with NPA and the Montenegrin Center for Divers Training and Underwater Demining on Tuesday 5. February.

Implementation of non-technical survey in Montenegro is a prerequisite for solving the problem of unexploded sub-munitions in a safe, cost-efficient and timely manner. The survey of the areas suspected to be contaminated with unexploded sub-munitions will be carried out over a four month period during 2013. Technical survey and clearance operations are planned for the period 2013-2014 aiming at clearing all contaminated areas during 2014 making Montenegro a country free from the deadly legacy of unexploded cluster sub-munitions.