Montenegro became contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), mainly unexploded ordnance (UXO), as a result of conflicts during the break-up of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The contamination also included CMR left after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) air strikes on Serbian and Montenegrin military positions in 1999.
Montenegro is a small, ethnically diverse country in South Eastern Europe with an estimate population of 629,218. It has an open economy, aspiring to join the European Union (EU) by 2025. The economy is vulnerable to external shocks, relying heavily on foreign capital, and concerning rising public debts and high unemployment. The country is exposed to earthquakes and floods, with floods posing the greater risk.
From 21 July – 6 October 2010, the remaining 273 cluster bombs of type BL 755 were detonated, thus effectively fulfilling Montenegro’s stockpile destruction obligations under Article 3 of the Convention within only two months of the Convention coming into force for Montenegro.
According to NPA’s 2013 cluster munition remnants survey ( CMRS ) report, from 1999 until April 2013, a total of 1,873 sub munitions had been found and destroyed in the location of cluster munition strike zones.
Montenegro is also heavily contaminated by other ERW, with items of UXO discovered throughout the country, on land as well as in rivers and the sea.
The NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project, which was launched in Montenegro in 2014 to provide the UXO clearance team of the Directorate for Emergency Situations with technical capacity and training in the detection and destruction of UXO,ended in December 2017.
The Directorate for Emergency Situations, established in 2006 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is responsible for mine action in Montenegro, performing the role of a national mine action center.
NPA are assisting Montenegro with a completion initiative for the cluster convention treaty for their compliance.
NPA have recruited and deployed one team to date comprising six clearance personnel, in addition to a medic, team leader, quality assistance (QA) officer, site manager, operations manager, administration officer and program manager. A specialised mine detection dog team is being deployed to support the operations and possibly another manual team.