Small Arms and Light Weapons Control in the Western Balkans: Lessons from the HALO Trust’s Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Release date: 2021-09

In the Western Balkans, the diversion of state‐owned Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and the deficient control over privately held small arms constitutes a source of illicit trafficking of arms into Europe and around the world. The HALO Trust (HALO) has been enhancing the control of SALW in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) since 2017. HALO’s marking and registration project has implemented a significant segment of the European Union Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) co‐ordinated “Ammunition, Weapons, and Explosives (AWE) MasterPlan” and the BiH Government’s 2016 – 2020 SALW Control Strategy (Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016).
This assessment of HALO’s marking and registration project with the Armed Forces of BiH (AFBiH) will provide useful lessons learned which HALO and prospective donors and stakeholders can use to expand the success of the BiH project across the entire Western Balkans. Other actors working on SALW marking and registration projects in the region and further afield will also find this document useful in providing key insights on the planning and implementation of a successful SALW marking and registration project.