A solemn ceremony was held at the Armed Forces Hall of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the occasion of the completion of the project of marking and registration of small arms and light weapons (SALW), and a total of 61,705 small arms and light weapons were marked.
Pursuant to the Decision of the Ministry of Defense of BiH on the implementation of the SALW procedure, and with the help of “The HALO Trust” as the project holder and cooperation of EUFOR, in November 2018 began the process of marking SALW at the locations of the AF BiH – Rajlovac, Zenica, Banja Luka, Čapljina, Tuzla and Visoko, Fena news agency writes.
The importance of the project was pointed out by the Deputy Minister of Defense of BiH Mijo Krešić, Executive Director of The HALO Trust James Cowan, EUFOR Commander in BiH Major General Alexander Platzer and Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff of the AF BiH Major General Ivica Jerkić.
In addition to marking small and light weapons in use, as it was said, marking of weapons from the state of surpluses, ie stocks, was performed, which implies carrying out activities of technical inspection of weapons, deconservation and re-conservation of weapons.
Of great importance for the Armed Forces of BiH, as Jerkić said, is the fact that after the completion of the project they will have a much clearer picture of the state of armaments in the AF BiH with all indicators of correctness, because the project was used to perform a technical inspection and create an electronic database for each piece of armament.
“It will have great benefits for the process of maintaining and planning the budget for the procurement of spare parts, but also monitoring the entire life of weapons,” he said, adding that the completion of the marking project will raise the level of weapons safety.
This reduces the possibility of abuse, and according to him, the verification of any serial number of weapons will be able to be done very quickly and efficiently in an electronic database that will be available to all commands up to the rank of brigade.
“I am especially proud of the fact that the AF BiH is the first armed forces in the region to implement the SALW commemoration project, and I hope that this will be a reference for all other security institutions, both in BiH and in the region, to implement this project for their weapons,” Jerkić emphasized.
Although it is difficult to completely prevent the misuse of weapons, Krešić pointed out that marked weapons, well kept and classified by type, will enable better control and better supervision.
The HALO Trust is the largest humanitarian organization in the world that deals with arms control, employs more than 10,000 people and supports activities in 10 countries around the world.
The organization’s director, James Cowan, said they had marked about 61,705 weapons in BiH at 22 locations. Although the project is over, he said, they remain available to BiH, with a desire to make BiH even safer for citizens.
In this regard, EUFOR Commander in BiH Alexander Platzer also said that the most important role and task of EUFOR in BiH is to support the BiH authorities in maintaining a safe and stable environment, and the completion of the project contributes greatly to this.