At the press conference at the City Hall it was stated that the city of Sarajevo and its neighboring municipalities will be cleared of mines by 2020. The launching of the initiative “Mine-free Sarajevo by 2020” was made official at the press conference by US Ambassador Eric Nelson and the Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka.
Namely, the United States of America approved funds for demining of Sarajevo and the neighboring municipalities of both entities by the end of 2020, and this information was presented to the press on April 4, on the International Mine Awareness Day, by Nelson and Skaka. The demining will be carried out at the so-called mine suspected areas in five municipalities in both entities – Old Town, East Old Town, Novi Grad, East Ilidža and Vogošća.
“Most countries mark this day symbolically, and the sad truth is that Bosnian and Herzegovinian citizens are aware of the horror and tragedy that the mines entail. USA is proud that we are the main donor in the project “Mine- free Sarajevo”, which is our biggest single donation in the past 20 years. This great initiative has as its goal to clear Sarajevo and East Sarajevo from the war legacy which disrupts reconciliation and development”, said Nelson.
According to Ambassador Nelson, USA has invested 115 million dollars in demining projects and destruction of remaining weapons and ammunition.
Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka expressed his pleasure with the fact that the project implementation has started just 6 months after the signing of the Memorandum on Mine Clearance.
“We are thankful to the people and government of the United States. This presents the continuation of our deep, sincere and long-term friendship and partnership. This is a very important project which sends a message of safety and progress, and that is the precondition for economic progress and development, especially of tourism.” Stressed Mayor Skaka expressing his appreciation for the existing generous support of the United States of America and the State Department Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.
President of MDDC company who will participate in the project implementation Nermin Hadžimujagić said that eight million square meters of hazardous mine suspected area, banned for use and free movement will be made risk-free.
We are certain that the implementation of this project will be a great step forward in reaching the goal of clearing the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina from mines by 2025 set in the BiH Strategy for Countering Landmines. – he added.
Prior to the press conference, Mayor Skaka and Ambassador Nelson met with the representatives of municipalities involved in this project, and Representatives of BiH Mine Clearance Committee, BiH Centre for removal of Mines and partners involved in the project implementation.