Wednesday, 26 August 2020

New publication \ Assessment of the HALO Trust marking and registration of small arms and light weapons project in Bosnia-Herzegovina

In the Western Balkans, the diversion of state­-owned small arms and light weapons (SALW), and limited control over privately held SALW, are a main source of illicit arms trafficking. In his assessment of the HALO Trust project for marking and registration of these weapons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, BICC researcher Andreas Heinemann-Grüder concludes that the project has been successful in finding valid lessons learnt for similar SALW control projects in the region.

The HALO (Hazardous Area Life­-support Organisation) Trust has contributed to improving the control of SALW in Bosnia­Herzegovina (BiH) since 2017, when it implemented a marking and registration project financed by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNSCAR (UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation) and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.

Future projects can draw on HALO’s experience with the legal, political, logistical and training preparation required for the successful implementation of the project. The preparation, especially the design of the registration database and the procedures of selecting, cleaning, transporting, securing and handling weapons, proved to be more demanding than the marking procedure itself.

The report by Andreas Heinemann-Grüder also gives feedback on HALO’s donors and implementing partners; thereby contributing to a broader, overarching understanding of the strategic, policy and operational requirements needed when tackling the illicit spread of SALW in the Western Balkans.