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Landmines: Bosnia's Silent Hazard
Sarajevo
By Michael Biach
28 Apr 2015

Almost two decades after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended the country remains threatened by more than 120,000 landmines, buried in the ground along former frontlines. As urban areas are meanwhile largely cleared people living in the remote landside of Bosnia are permanently threatened by the silent hazard near their homes.

Today nearly 1,250 square kilometers of Bosnia - about 2.5% of its total land mass - are still profoundly mined and not all areas are already known. Bosnia was supposed to be mine-free in 2009 but had to postpone the date to 2019, an enthusiastic goal that still seems very unrealistic. Bosnia seems to have the personal and technical capacity to demine the country but lacks in financial funds. The country needs an estimated amount of 40 million Euros every year to be mine-free until the end of this decade. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) is responsible for non-technical survey of contaminated areas, planning, quality assurance and coordination of mine action activiites in the country. Demining activities are conducted by 27 accredited demining organizations including the highly efficient Norwegian People's Aid (NPA).

Living next to mine fields in rural areas has been accepted as a fact of life. Since Bosnia's three-year war ended in 1995 landmines have killed more than 600 people and injured about 1,700 individuals while the total number of victims including those killed or injured during the war is almost 10,000.

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Peshmerga Units Clear Explosives Laid...
Kirkuk, Makhmour
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
08 Feb 2015

The amount of IEDs left by the Islamic State is staggering. 'Not normal', says the mayor of Makhmour. According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of casualties for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the deadly devices, with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. We go to the frontlines with a Peshmerga engineer team specialized in dismantling the devices, and speak to a farmer who is affected by Islamic State IEDs. The mayor of the city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left in August, also weighs in on the subject.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors
Bosnia
By Transterra Editor
06 Jan 2014

Almost two decades after the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the country remains threatened by more than 120,000 landmines, a dark legacy of the war, buried in the ground along former frontlines. As urban areas are meanwhile largely demined, people living in the remote landside of Bosnia are permanently threatened by the silent hazard near their homes.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 1
Sarajevo, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

War damages in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo have mostly been disappeared during the past decade. On August 25th, 1992, due to heavy shelling of the city, the Vijećnica, Sarajevo’s National Library and nearly all of its books burst up in flames. In 2013 the outside restoration has been completed and re-opening is scheduled for 2014.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 2
Visoko, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Goran Stanusic from Bosnia & Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) is clearing in an area near Visoko. Members of the mine squad work alone and scan about five square meters with a metal detector every 30 minutes. Since 1995 nearly 50 mine clearance personnel have been killed, 115 have been seriously wounded

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 3
Sarajevo, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Since the outbreak of Bosnia’s three-year war in 1992 nearly 10.000 people have either been killed or badly injured in landmine incidents all over the country.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 4
Olovo, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Adila Bijelic (62) and her family have been seriously affected by Bosnia’s landmine situation in multiple tragedies. Her husband Fehim got killed by a landmine in 1996. In another incident in late 2012 her son Ibrahim was badly injured while her 6-year-old grandson Tarik was fatally wounded and died in the arms of his father.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 6
Visoko, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Nearly 1.250 square kilometers of Bosnia – about 2,5 % of its total land mass – are still profoundly mined. Big vegetation is one of the biggest problems in the act of demining along with the fact that a lot of the soil is contaminated with metal from bullets, cartridge, fragments, shrapnel, barbwire and other metal garbage. Due to safety reasons a deminer has to check every signal, even the smallest, until a depth of 20cm. This makes the job of clearing a mined area slower and more dangerous.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 7
Doboj, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Goran Goranović (40), far right, stepped on a landmine while serving in the army of Republika Srpske in 1992 and suffered a below-knee amputation of his right leg. After the end of the war Goran didn’t receive any financial or psychological support. He is living with his family in a very remote area in Doboj region, Republika Srpska. In 2002 Zoran Panic (far left), who is working for the Landmine Survivors Initiative (LSI) in Doboj, learned about his case and the initiative started to support Goran with a cultivator for agricultural use as well as weekly visits. Here the two are accompanied by Ramiz Bećirović from LSI Tuzla.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 8
Olovo, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Warning sign at the entrance of a wood land near Olovo.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 9
Olovo, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Ibrahim Bijelic (38) has been badly injured during a landmine incident in late 2012 when the family was collecting firewood in the nearby forest. His 6-year old son Tarik has been fatally wounded in the same incident and died in the arms of his father. Like for many other villagers in such a remote area the only possible way for the Bijelic family to make a living is by seling collected firewood from the forests. Ibrahim and his family have not been supported by the government since the incident. They are in need of financial and psychological support. The Landmine Survivors Initiative (LSI) supports the family with regular visits and provided an agricultural cultivator so that Ibrahim is able to earn some money.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 11
Doboj region, bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Since she was a little girl collecting firewood has always been essential to Razija Aljić (54). This made her make a living and to weather long and cold winters in remote Bosnian landside.

After the war, following the return to their pre-war house in the village of Lukavica Rijeka in Doboj municipality, the circumstance got very wicked and the family’s tragedy took its course:

In 1996 Razija has lost her 19-year old son Nedzad in a landmine incident near their house. Only two years later her husband got killed in another explosion. In summer 2011 Razija’s second son Yusuf and his brother-in-law were fatally wounded by a landmine explosion and died in the forests. Ruzmir (19) is Razija’s only remaining son.

During the interview he points out that in order to support a living for his family he will soon go back to the forests.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 13
Visoko, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Deminers from BH MAC have successfully cleared a small area near Visoko and withdrawn the security tapes. (from left to right: BH MAC inspector Sinisa, team leader Marko, deminer Nebojsa, operative officer Savo)

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 14
Zivinice, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Ajka Ibrahimovic didn’t receive any governmental support since the tragic events in 1995. Back ten,she and her 5-year old son Aldin were seriously wounded due to the explosion of unexploded ordnance (UXO). The incident killed two women and seven children including Ajkas nephew. Until today Ajka has shrapnel pieces inside her body and lungs. Removing them in an operation would be too dangerous.

LSI has supported her with the allocation of a greenhouse. Ajka is now successfully growing vegetables and selling them to neighbors in her hometown Zivinice.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 16
Zivinice, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Ajka Ibrahimovic is proudly showing the harvest of her greenhouse. Since the LSI supported her with the allocation of a greenhouse in 2011 she is successfully earning money out of growing vegetables.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 18
Doboj region, bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Goran Goranović (40) stepped on a landmine while serving in the army of Republika Srpske in 1992 which made him suffer from a below-knee amputation of his right leg. He is living with his family in a very remote area in Doboj region, Republika Srpska. In 2002 the Landmine Survivors Initiative (LSI) in Doboj knew about his case and started to support Goran with a cultivator for agricultural use.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 20
Doboj region, bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Jozo Karinovic (42) stepped on a landmine while serving in the army in Brezove Dane in 1992 which made him suffer from a below-knee amputation of his left leg. With financial support of the LSI he started to do grow fruits for living.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 21
Visoko, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

After a day of demining an area near Visoko BH MAC officials and deminers meet for a debriefing. Team leader Borislav, second from right, explains the situation.

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Bosinian Landmine Survivors 22
Visoko, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

BH MAC team leader Borislav is holding a map of the mined area in front of him. Nearly 1.250 square kilometers of Bosnia – about 2,5 % of its total land mass – are still profoundly mined.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors
Sarajevo
By Michael Biach
29 Sep 2013

Almost two decades after the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement the country remains threatened by more than 120.000 landmines, a dark legacy of the war, buried in the ground along former frontlines. As urban areas are meanwhile largely demined people living in the remote landside of Bosnia are permanently threatened by the silent hazard near their homes.

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Landmines
Kuito, Angola
By serengeti1 serengeti1
03 May 2013

LANDMINES are the seeds of war that lay hidden underground. Years after the soldiers have gone home a child will step on one and be killed or maimed permanently. Removing mines alternate between the sophisticated, like these de-mining vehicles from Mechem in South Africa to the slow manual, dangerous way - by hand. In Quito in Angola the ICRC runs this important prosthesis centre. Most of the victims of land mines around Quito are small children.

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THE CAMBODIA TRUST PROSTHETICS AND OR...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

A severe problem that Cambodia faces is the magnitude of landmines littered over virtually every provence throughout the country. more than 40% of the villages in Cambodia have a mine problem.
This is the legacy of three decades of savage war leaving 40,000+ amputees through out the country. Recent estimates show that there may be as many as four to six million mines and unexploded devices left undetected in Cambodia although some estimates run as high as ten million. Last year The Cambodia Trust clinics in Cambodia fitted over 600 limbs ensuring that individuals are empowered to impact their communities and provide for their families. Across the developing world, there are millions of people with disabilities who need physical rehabilitation services to enable them to go to school, find work and participate in society. However in many low income countries there is a severe shortage of local staff with the skills and experience to provide the rehabilitation services needed by persons with disabilities.
In the warfare that raged in Cambodia from 1970 until 1998, all sides used land mines.
Most were manufactured in China, Russia, or Vietnam and the United States. Pol Pot, whose regime was responsible for the deaths of some 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, purportedly called land mines his “perfect soldiers.”

Major minefields have been mapped and are being systematically demined. Although estimates show that it may take between 10 and 20 years to eradicate the threat and with serious amounts of money involved to do so.

Cambodia reported 96 landmine casualties in the first five months of 2012, according to a report of the Cambodian Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Victim Information System, and they quoted sadly young children account for about half of all landmine victims.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurses, technicians and patients observe Amputee Sok Try as he takes the first few steps in his new prosthetic leg. Mr Sok lost his leg after triggering a land mine in Battambang province in 1996, since then he has had five replacements

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Amputee Sok Try takes the first few steps in his new prosthetic leg. Mr Sok lost his leg after triggering a land mine in Battambang province in 1996, since then he has had five replacements.

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Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Orthot...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

A patient takes his first few steps on his new prosthetic limb. The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Orthotics Rehabilitation Clinic helps disabled local get back on their feet, so that they provide for their families and themselves.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

A patient grasps the handrails as he tries out his new prosthetic limb.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung go's through the first process of sizing and making a prosthetic limb.Mr Soung Sophat triggered a landmine in 1981. Kampong Chhnang province was one of the most heavily mined areas of Cambodia. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung go's through the first process of sizing and making a prosthetic limb.Mr Soung Sophat triggered a landmine in 1981. Kampong Chhnang province was one of the most heavily mined areas of cambodia. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung go's through the first process of sizing and making a prosthetic limb. Mr Soung Sophat triggered a landmine in 1981 and this is now his 10th casting over a 30 year period. Kampong Chhnang province was one of the most heavily mined areas of cambodia. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung go's through the first process of sizing and making a prosthetic limb. Mr Soung Sophat triggered a landmine in 1981 and this is now his 10th casting over a 30 year period. Kampong Chhnang province was one of the most heavily mined areas of Cambodia. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung wraps the patients stub ready for casting. Mr Soung Sophat triggered a landmine in 1981 and this is now his 10th casting over a 30 year period. Kampong Chhnang province was one of the most heavily mined areas of Cambodia. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung go's through the final stages of casting a landmine survivors new prosthetic limb. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung go's through the final stages of casting a landmine survivors new prosthetic limb. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Nurse Ms Tech Aundoung shows the finished cast, the cast will now be sent into the prosthetics workshop where the technicians will finish the process. Ms Tech Aundoung is relocating to Myanmar soon to help deal with the growing numbers of victims affected there during the recent conflicts.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Cambodia Trust Prosthetics technicians at various stages of work creating new arms and legs. Last year Cambodia Trust clinics in Cambodia fitted over 600 limbs, enabling there patients to have mobility again.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

A Prosthetics technician at one of the various stages of work, fixing the outer skin of rubber to the soon to be new left leg.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Prosthetics technician team leader Mr Men Tharro pasting the outer skin of rubber with a kind of high strength glue.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

Prosthetics technicians at various stages of work creating new limbs.

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The Cambodia Trust Prosthetics and Or...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

10 year old amputee Pat Roty lost his leg 3 years ago whilst playing close to his home. Landmines in rural areas of Cambodia are still a major problem, and unfortunately a large percentage of the victims are children.