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Record Bosnian floods raises danger of moving mines

Record Bosnian floods raises danger of moving mines
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The Bosnian war ended in 1995, but ever since the conflict has claimed lives. More than 600 people have died since…from unexploded landmines.

Now with the worst flooding in over 120 years Serbia and Bosnia are faced with a new danger – the mines have crept out of their designated areas, and nowhere is safe again in poor areas which need agriculture and forestry to survive.

“We’ve seen yesterday in one news report a man who threw into the river Bosnia two mines that the water had moved to his front yard. That is the worst thing one can do,” said Deminer Fikret Smais.

Mines have been washed to the surface or entire minefields have disappeared in landslides. Nothing is marked any more.

“Many depend on agriculture and now literally all the fields have been flooded and all the crops are destroyed. In my town clearing the fields will be the biggest problem,” says the mayor of Visoko, Amra Babic.

It is estimated some 120,000 landmines remain buried around Bosnia alone, with an estimated cost of removal if large-scale work could immediately begin, at some 300 million euros.