In 2012, the EUFOR Operational Commander directed the adoption of a comprehensive approach to address the mounting security concerns related to the stockpiling of surplus ammunition remnant from the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After decades of political deadlock driven by the country’s conflictual past, the directive empowered a group of experts to design and implement an ammunition life-cycle management system that facilitated a transition to local ownership to address the current and future management challenges in line with international standards.
This Briefing Paper analyses the emergence of the life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA) system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the period 2012–16, with reference to four of the five elements of the Small Arms Survey’s LCMA model: national ownership, planning, stockpile management, and disposal. The paper examines the key challenges faced by the international community and BiH government in addressing the safety and security risks posed by BiH’s post-conflict ammunition surplus, focusing on the international community’s role in facilitating the development, and transfer to national ownership, of an LCMA system. The paper notes ‘ten lessons learned’ that could apply to other post-conflict countries. These lessons stress the importance of building sustainable national capacity in states receiving international assistance. Training, infrastructure, and operating standards need to be country specific to achieve this goal and reduce the risk of unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) and diversion in the long term.
For full access to the report, Life-Cycle Management of Ammunition (LCMA) - Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, please follow the link.