Bosnia & Herzegovina: Land Mines 1995

This survey in July-September 1995 measured the social and economic costs of land mines in 66 representative Bosnian communities. Some three percent of households were affected by land mine explosions. This figure may be low; some incidents viewed as having military importance caused reticence. Some 28% of the population was displaced, while 22% of those interviewed said that they occupied houses vacated by “the other side” during the infamous “ethnic cleansing”. On average, a single land mine explosion killed 0.54 people and injured 1.4. Reflecting the active state of hostilities when the survey was carried out, over one-half of the land mine episodes in Bosnia were related to military activity, mostly affecting soldiers on patrol duty. In two percent of the households surveyed, someone tried to remove land mines, resulting in their being exposed to a four fold increase in household injury. Throughout the survey, there was active fighting, sniper attacks, mortar bombings and changing borders. Under these conditions, information related to war casualties took on military significance. As a result, some hospital staff, aid workers, and individual informants refused to participate. Funding for this survey was provided by the United Nations High Committee for Refugees, UNICEF, the Open Society Institute and others.

For further information see:
Andersson, N., Palha de Sousa, C., Paredes, S. Social cost of land mines in four countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia and Mozambique. British Medical Journal 1995; 311:718-721.