Massive Flooding May Have Redistributed Tens of Thousands of Land Mines in Bosnia

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 23 2014 4:07 PM

Massive Flooding May Have Redistributed Tens of Thousands of Land Mines in Bosnia

465772549
Demining in Bosnia earlier this year.

Photo by Samir Yordamovic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

One million Bosnians have been displaced by massive floods in recent weeks, and Foreign Policy reports today on another terrifying consequence of the rising waters: the redistribution of many of the thousands of land mines that were left in the country during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

The 120,000 mines still left in the country used to be contained in 13,000 square feet of well-marked fields. Now they have spread away from the warning signs once indicating their locations. As much as 70 percent of the flooded territory could now be at risk of having land mines on it, according to the Mine Action Center.
"All flooded areas have become mine and unexploded ordnance suspected area," says Jasmin Porobic, the United Nations' point person in Bosnia for explosive ordnance destruction.
Advertisement

Foreign Policy notes that the geological havoc wreaked by the floods will also increase the difficulty of the ongoing search for the remains of thousands of individuals missing since the Balkan conflicts.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.