On 31 January, 2018, a handover ceremony for “The Project for Support of Demining in Ilijas and Busovaca” was held in the Municipality of Ilijas with attendance of Mr. Akihito Teruuchi, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Akif Fazlic, Mayor of Municipality Ilijas, Mr. Asim Mekic, Mayor of Municipality Busovaca, Ambassador Tomaz Lovrencic, ITF director-Ambassador, representatives of BHMAC.
The Government of Japan granted 314,787 Euro (over 615,000KM) to ITF for demining of total 295,638 square meters of terrain in Municipalities of Ilijas and Busovaca.
Municipalities of Ilijas and Busovaca were heavy landmine contaminated area in BiH, because these areas had included the front lines during the conflict in 1990s. Moreover, since the great flood hit these areas on May 2014 and many landmines might be flowed out, demining in these areas was emergency issue. Thanks to this project, the life conditions for a total of about 38,000 people in these areas have been improved. Furthermore, it is expected that these projects will contribute to local economics by effective utilization of land for agriculture and forestry.
It is estimated that 80,000 landmines and ERWs remain in the fields throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and it poses serious threat to the safety of the local population in BiH. Demining is one of priority areas of Japanese assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 1996, the Government of Japan has granted over 8.7 million EUR (over 17 million KM) for the demining activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.