Bosnian Parliament Investigates Illegal Weapons Exports
The Parliament of Bosnia Herzegovina called Thursday for further investigation into reports that the government violated United Nations weapons bans by exporting munitions to embargoed countries in the years following the war.
As part of its agreement with the United Nations, Bosnia Herzegovina agreed to destroy such arms, under the direction and supervision of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
But evidence shows that arms were not destroyed but sold by two private companies to countries that are under UN embargo. The names of those countries are not clear.
The Bosnian Ministry of Defense stored surplus arms at military bases and two private companies were contracted to destroy the weapons: Vogosca-based “Pretis” and Bugojno based “Binas”. “Pretis” got approval from the ministry to take explosives from its warehouse despite the fact that it had no license or contract to destroy weapons. Those munitions were sold abroad.
A second company, Binas, claimed from an army warehouse in feb 2011 24,565 handgrenades which they said were their own but the Parliament questioned why a private company would have grenades in a military warehouse and they ordered the matter looked into.
The Parliament noted that “there are serious indications that the ammunition taken from the warehouse of the Armed Forces was not destroyed but exported by Bosnia and Herzegovina to countries which the United Nations had banned the export of weaponry.”
Thus far, the investigation indicates that between 2006 and 2010, the Bosnian Ministry of Defense did not track or follow the whereabouts of its surplus military equipment. Ministry officials cannot say how much equipment slated for destruction was sold.