The demining battalion of the Bosnian Armed Forces got two trained mine detection dogs as part of efforts to improve the efficiency of demining operations in the country. The Government of Switzerland supported the training of two dogs and their handlers at the Global Training Center of Norwegian People’s Aid for Mine Detection Dogs in Blagovac, near Sarajevo.
“I am convinced that the two Mine Detection Dogs are a precious investment in the future and that Hob and Jerko Hannibal will help the Demining Battalion perform their important humane activities, thus contributing to free the land of mines in the fastest way possible. This will not only increase the safety of the citizens of BiH, but also improve their livelihoods and therefore contribute to the socio-economic development of the country”, said Barbara Dätwyler Scheuer of the Swiss Embassy.
Since 2003 the Swiss Government is continuously supporting the Norwegian People’s Aid mine action program in BiH. During the past years an amount of 10 million KM was spent on mine action activities throughout the country. The project aims at improving the quality of life of the population in areas affected by mines, cluster munition and other explosive remnants of the war.
The use of mine detection dogs in mine action operations helps speed up the mine detection process and reduce the risks significantly. In November 2016, two mine detection dogs that underwent a specific advanced training were handed over to the demining battalion as part of the same project.
Landmine contamination in Bosnia is one of the remnants of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. All combatants laid landmines during the war and as a result Bosnia has one of the most severe landmine problems in the world.