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MINE ACTION OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

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The basic requirement of Mine Action is to understand the environment in which activities will take place. Good decisions will only be made when are governed by all relevant information and understanding of the environment. Generally, Mines and other
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  78 V INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE SAFETY AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT  –   THEORY AND PRACTISE SAFETY FOR THE FUTURE  –   SecMan 2019. MINE ACTION OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA Vinko Žnidaršič 1 ,   Аleksandar Milić 2   1  National defense School, University of Defence in Belgrade, Pavla Jurišića Šturma 1, Belgrade, SERBIA, ORCID: 0000-0002-1449-0448, 2  Military academy, University of Defence in Belgrade, Pavla Jurišića Šturma 33, Belgrade SERBIA, milickm5@gmail.com  Abstract:  The basic requirement of Mine Action is to understand the environment in which activities will take place. Good decisions will only be made when are governed by all relevant information and understanding of the environment. Generally, Mines and other Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) are a problem because they represent a risk  for life and health of people and animals and because they limit all forms of development. In the Republic of Serbia the significant areas are contaminated with cluster munitions, air bombs  –   rockets, mines and other UXO on land and in inner waterways influence that government organizations and other participants in Mine  Action need to know more about operating environment factors such as Nacional history, stockpiles and production of anti-personal mines; international cooperation;  funding humanitarian demining; ecological issues; economy; maps; collections of data; coordination; multiple clearing UXO on locations; standards; emergency services; climatic conditions; specialized companies and nongovernmental organizations; tenders; legislation.  Keywords:  Mine Action, Operations management, Operational environment, Unexploded Ordinance (UXO), Explosive Remnants of War  ( ERW ) 1.   INTRODUCTION The vision of the United Nations is a world free from the threat of mines, explosive remnants of war (ERW), including cluster munitions, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), where individuals and communities live in a safe environment conducive to sustainable peace and development, where no one is left behind, where the human rights and the needs of victims are met and where they are fully integrated as equal members of their societies.[10] Mine action operations accelerate the return of land to productive use and help establish a safe environment where people affected by conflict can rebuild stable and dignified lives. Mine action entails more than removing landmines from the ground. It includes 5 types of actions: 1) Clearance: Removing and destroying landmines and marking/fencing off contaminated areas; 2) Education: Helping people to understand and avoid the risk, identify mines; 3) Victim Assistance: Providing medical assistance and rehabilitation services to victims; 4) Advocacy: Advocating for a world free from the threat of landmines; and 5) Stockpile destruction: Helping countries destroy their stockpiles.[2] In the Republic of Serbia, the presence of mines and other explosive remnants of war limits access to livelihoods and obstructs reconstruction after the end of a conflict. Often, mines have not been laid in contained areas but placed around a variety of strategic areas without any specific pattern. As a result, civilians, peacekeepers, aid workers and soldiers alike often have no way of knowing if they entered a mined area.[2]  79 Specificity and complexity of the problem present the fact that apart from mines remaining in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, Serbia also encounters with numerous challenges related to clearance of the areas contaminated with unexploded 1) cluster munitions, 2) air bombs  –   rockets and 3) other UXO. All these unexploded ordnances are either remaining as a result of the 1999 bombing, or are caused by an explosion and fire in a military depot, or are remaining from previous armed conflicts (Image 1).[11] Cluster    Munitions are used during NATO Operation Allied Force in 1999 when aeroplanes dropped cluster bombs in 16 municipalities in the Republic of Serbia without Kosovo and Metohija. During the bombing, NATO forces used the cluster bombs: RBL-755, CBU-87, CBU-99, AGM  –   154/A and BL-755 which contained 145-247 pieces of cluster munitions type MK-1, MK-4, MK-118, BLU-97A and BLU-97A/B. In the territory of the Republic of Serbia, cluster munitions can be still found in the area of around 2.500.000 sqm. Following the International Mine Action Standards, bis 2018, the area of 11.258.195 sqm has been cleared.[1]  Air Bombs  –   Rockets it is assumed that from the 1999 bombing, they can be found in around 150 locations in the ground at the depth of up to 20 meters. Survey of other locations suspected to be contaminated with unexploded air bombs  –   rockets is in progress.[1]  Mines  are been along the border with the Republic of Croatia until 10 November 2009 following 44 projects by the SMAC and with the supervision of the SMAC, and still, are in along the administrative line with Kosovo and Metohija. Unregistered mine contaminated areas (groups of mines): The remaining areas contaminated by mines did not have registries and had not been planted in specific patterns, which aggravated survey and clearance efforts.[11] Other Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and  Explosive Remnants of War  (ERW  ) on land mainly appeared after fire and ex  plosion at the military depots in Paraćin, Kraljevo, Vranje, where various types of unexploded ordnance or their parts are located outside of military objects in the area of about 13.500.000 sqm.[1] Other Unexploded Ordnance in inner waterways existed as consequence of conflicts in Second World War (1941-1945), Yugoslavia (1991-1995) and NATO Operation Allied Force in 1999 . In the Đerdap Gorge, on the Danube River, in the vicinity of Prahovo, in 1944, 23 sunken German war vessels containing a large quantity of unexploded ordnance, including anti-ship mines, were sunken. These UXO pose a threat to people and the environment and significantly obstruct navigation in this part of the Danube. It is suspected that in the Sava river, in the area of the Jamena Village, improvised mines are remaining from the 1999-1995 conflicts. From the 1999 bombing of the Republic of Serbia, unexploded air bombs-rockets can be found in the Sava River and the Danube River.[1] In the Republic of Serbia, the UXO and ERW protection management system is decentralized and different organisations, manage and implement anti-mine action activities, within their competencies. The state authorities responsible for clearing UXO and ERW are the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Defense and the Mine Action Center.  Ministry of Interior , through the Emergency management sector, provides civil protection. Civil protection represents the organized response of the state to the dangers that endanger the population, material goods and the environment in case of an emergency that exceeds the possibilities of regular activities of the competent authorities. So far, 173 specialized civil protection and rescue units and 27 teams of these units have been formed in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.[7]  80  Ministry of Defence, organize the demining and destruction operations of UXO in military complexes, performed by demining and destruction units of the UXO, specially trained personnel for destruction of UXO and persons for control and expert supervision of these operations from Serbian Armed Forces.[4] The Mine Action Centre (SMAC), realize big project providing donations and control over those projects which are realising by specialized companies for Explosives Ordinance Disposal. The SMAC, among other things, conducts surveys of the locations contaminated with cluster munitions, mines and other ERW, keeps records on it, makes projects and project tasks for demining, executes quality control of demining works during and after the completion of works, issues certificate that certain area determined with a project is demined, that is, cleared from mines and ERW in accordance with the International Mine Action Standards. Also, the Centre conducts international cooperation and works related to the provision of donations for demining. It supervises appliance of international contracts and standards in the field of demining and executes other works determined by the law.[1] 2.   THE OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT The Operational Environment is a composite of the conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of capabilities and bear on the decisions of the mine action team. The Mine Action subjects must have a keen understanding of the Operational Environment and be able to make decisions based on the conditions, circumstances, and influences around them.[9] Image 1 : Mine Action Operational Environment in the Republic of Serbia Source: https//sindikatvatrogassaca.org.rs/5391-5391/ By researching available open sources literature these operating environment factors in the Republic of Serbia, in most cases are: history, stockpiles of anti-personal mines; production of antipersonnel mines; international cooperation; funding humanitarian demining; ecological issues; economy; maps; collections of data; coordination; multiple clearing UXO on locations;  81 standards; emergency services; climactic conditions; specialized companies and nongovernmental organizations; tenders; legislation ( Image 1 ).  History  shows that since the beginning of the wider operational use of explosive ordinance in military activity on the territory of the Republic of Serbia in the borders from 2006., several major armed conflicts have occurred: First Balkan War (1912-1913), Second Balkan War (1913), First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1941-1945), NATO Operation Allied Force (1999). Beside armed conflicts, other accidents make an additional problem. For instance, in 2006. The explosion in the Paraćin military warehouse exploded one -third of the 3,500 tons of ammunition that was being stored there.[6] Stockpiles of anti-personal mines in the Republic of Serbia were destroyed bis May 2007.[1]  Production of anti-personnel mines is closed and antipersonnel mines are no longer produced in the Republic of Serbia.[1]  International Cooperation achieves with numerous subjects in the field of mine action. Cooperation with the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF), as well as regional cooperation through various forms of the work of the Southeastern Europe Mine Action Coordination Council, gives good results in the field of mine action. After the foundation of the SMAC, ITF strongly supported the SMAC at first providing donations for the training of personnel, technical equipping and survey of the mine suspected area, and in 2003 started funding our projects for humanitarian demining. ITF and the SMAC signed the Memorandum of Understanding which further enhances cooperation between the SMAC and ITF.[1]  Funding directly influences on solving problems connected with humanitarian demining. Upon the foundation of the SMAC, representatives of relevant international organizations have requested that the SMAC, as well as centers in other countries in the region, is founded as an independent state authority out of so-called ministries of force.[1] Despite the difficult economic situation in the country and modest funds from the National Budget, Republic of Serbia endeavor to secure funding of demining either by submitting projects to ITF applying for their funding, or lobbying with other foreign donors to provide funds for implementation of projects. However, in 2015, the funds €100,000 for d emining operations have been allocated from the Serbian State Budget for the first time. Also, the funds have been allocated in 2016. This trend has been continued on an annual basis and in 2018 the Serbian Government allocated the double amount of funds for demining operations, and it is expected that the Serbian Government will continue to allocate the funds for demining operations throughout the requested extension period.[1]  Ecological issuess  come from the high level of environmental pollution from UXO. They pose a constant danger to people and property and greatly complicates the infrastructure development of economic and other capacities in the Republic of Serbia. Studies on the impact of landmines have showed that landmines have, forced populations to overuse certain natural resources leading to numerous environmental challenges such as erosion, land subsidence, etc.  Economy  is threatened by the inability to access transport routes, or use energy sources (electricity lines) may also have implications on local poverty levels.[3]  Maps in   the Republic of Serbia are mainly produced by the Republic Geodetic Authority and Military Geographical Institute. The Republic Geodetic Authority is a special organization performing professional and public administration works about state survey, real estate cadaster, utility cadaster, basic geodetic  82 works, address registry, topographic-cartographic activities, property valuation, geodetic-cadastral information system, The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and geodetic works in engineering-technical fields. The Sector for Geodetic Affairs provides spatial services and products from the scale of 1: 5 000 and larger in analogue and digital form.[8] The Military Geographical Institute is an institution of the Serbian Armed Forces and produces geospatial data and various types of cartographic, graphic, photographic and textual-numeric products in digital and printed form as Topographic maps, Geospatial database, Orthophoto products, Digital elevation model and Relief maps. In addition to these products, the Military Geographical Institute produces transparent topographic, geographical and thematic maps. Almost all products are available to civilian institutions. The current products of the Military Geographical Institute are: Topographic map 1: 25.000, 1: 50.000, 1: 100.000, 1: 250.000, Geographical map 1: 750,000 and International map 1: 1,000,000.[5] Colections of data  are not on organized and on accessible way presented among participants in Mine Actions. Every relevant subject in Mine Action has its database, on the way which is organised to contribute to his organisation. No standardised forms are made and no obligations for exchange data is made. In practice, all organisation have good cooperation but they are not legally obligated to do so.  Multiple clearing UXO on locations  are conducted in several locations. During and immediately after the bombing, the Serbian Army and police conducted the removal of unexploded cluster munitions from the surface, which contributed significantly to the safety of people and substantially influenced the reduction of the number of the injured, above all, children. Given that cluster munitions that went through the ground were not detected and destroyed, the removal has to be done now to provide complete safety to people.[1] Standards are mainly based on the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). Following the International Mine Action Standards, the first clearance operations in the Republic of Serbia were organized in 2003.[1]  Emergency services in the Republic of Serbia could be : Police, Firefighters, Ambulance (medical assistance and first respond), and other s depending on the task.  Climactic conditions  influence in the manner that contaminated areas are inaccessible during some periods of the year causing operation delays. Consequently, most of the suspected areas are not appropriate for the use of mine detection dogs or machinery.[11] Specialized companies and nongovernmental organizations exist in the Republic of Serbia. They are registered for these works, technically are equipped and have adequate personnel.[1]  Tenders  procedures for the selection of contractors for implementation of humanitarian demining/clearance projects funded by international donations conduct donors, as a rule with the participation of international foundations through which they channel their funds. In other cases, tender procedures are conducted by an investor.[1] In the legislation  of the Republic of Serbia, several laws and other regulations directly or indirectly regulate activities related to the management of UXO, mines and EORs. The Labor Law indirectly refers to the implementation of anti-mine action activities, because it regulates that the employer is obliged to provide the employee with working conditions and organize work for safety and protection of life and health at work, following the law and other regulations and consequently about mines and EOR, as well as that the employee has the right to safety and protection of life and health at work. Rules on occupational safety during the construction works further regulates that when earthworks are carried out on old war spots or
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