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Harvest weapons destruction

By 2nd Lt. Bruno Ménard
First published in
SFOR Informer#117, July 11, 2001

A new success for OP Harvest. June 29, over 670 weapons were destroyed in a factory located in Zenica, near the Turkish Battalion Task Force camp. This time, it was a demonstration of the commitment of the Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support OP Harvest.

Zenica - The operation Harvest, which is a programme to encourage civilians to turn in illegal weapons throughout the country, is going well. As an example, Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina collect on a regular basis large amounts of arms. June 29 in Zenica (Federation, Canton 4), they conducted, with the assistance of SFOR, weapons destruction at a steel mill.
Before the destruction, the arms were set out in rows on the floor, among pipes and machines of the former factory. Amongst the numerous weapons were 183 SKS rifles, 82 AK 47 Kalashnikov, 20 shotguns and four flame-throwers. A good crop, in itself. Then the arms were conveyed by a crane into a gigantic steel machine, which flattened them in a dreadful noise. Subsequently, there was nothing left but a heap of crushed metal, and therefore unusable and unreclaimable. It was then melted into a fiery molten mass. Lt.Col. Tomislav Basevic (Republika Srpska Army, VRS), Maj. Vlado Blazanovic (Federation Army, VF), Capt. Boris Celic (Bosnian-Croat component of the Federation Army, VF-H) and Mr. Ivo Veselcic (Deputy Minister for Logistics in the Federation Ministry of Defence), in co-ordination with MND-N, attended this event, covered by many local media.
A safer place for everyone
Lt. Boris Radic, one of the officers in charge, said confidently about this weapon destruction: "it is good because we are going to secure the country. The people realise we have a true peace." And he added, without hesitation: "there is no need to have weapons at home." Besides, SFOR whose mission is continuous support to this kind of operation, is fully pleased with the level of co-operation that AF in BiH showed. In fact, without the hard work and the level of professionalism of the all armed forces, this programme would not have been successful.
Every weapon that is turned in and destroyed indeed creates a safe and secure environment for all citizens of BiH. And it is important for the population to co-operate and support the efforts of all the involved forces, in order to make this country a safer place for everyone.

Related links: SFOR at Work
Project Harvest