Bosnia's deminers hope law will be changed so they don't face unemployment at 40

NEWS 03.02.2023 19:25

Land mines still represent a danger to citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, even nearly 30 years after the war and have caused the death of almost two thousand people in the country so far. This number would likely be a lot higher if it was not for the deminers, who do not have the best working conditions in the country and hope the Defence Ministry will tackle the issue.

Deminers can serve as part of the BiH Armed Forces up to age 40. Radenko Golijanin is 38.

“So in two years I'll be out of a job,” he said, adding that he has no idea what to do about it.

The law is problematic, as deminers working within the BiH military are left unemployed at a time when they still have the capability and skills to work, as well as the necessary experience.

“We would like that to change and we appeal to our ministry to fix it if possible”, Golijanin told N1.

Armin Vehab is also thinking about the moment he might lose his job. He is the team leader and has been working in the demining unit for 13 years.

“It cannot be said that there is no fear even today… but here… years of experience have led to thinking differently. I still hope that the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina will do something and that I will stay longer”, Vehab said.

Deminers have secured more than two million square meters of BiH territory last year. Plans are being made for this year as well and there are currently active sites in Herzegovina.

“Some of the units will be engaged in the area of USK (Una-Sana Canton)- two groups will carry out manual demining in the area of Buzi and after that, they will move to the centre Otoka and we have one group that will be in the area of Bihac – Zeljava airport. We have units that work in Derventa, Orasje, Tuzla, the central part of BiH – Travnik, as well as in Livno”, adds Cazim Mahmic, commander of the demining battalion of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The vehicles the deminers use are subpar.

“Some of the vehicles are 50 years old. How do they even work? That's why there are frequent breakdowns,” says Bogdan Knezic, operations officer of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“However, this year we are expecting a donation from the EU, which will include 64 motor vehicles, of which 34 are ambulances for medical support. There are also vehicles for the transport of personnel and equipment”, added Mahmic.

That will mean a lot to the deminers, but changing the laws would mean a lot more.


Vaš komentar