Landmines Moved In Bosnian And Serbian Floods

Bosnia and Serbia are part of the former Yugoslavia, near the Adriatic Sea in Southeastern Europe.  They are mountainous, with a moderate climate and great cultural history.

The area maintains high literacy, life expectancy, and education levels, and includes major cities like Belgrade and Sarajevo.   The region has also had a huge rise in tourism – projected to have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world between 1995 and 2020.

Earlier this month, over the course of three days, three months’ worth of rain fell on Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia, which produced the worst floods since rainfall measurements began 120 years ago.

Almost 1 million Bosnians have either been evacuated or have left their homes because of flooding or landslides.

An estimated 50 people have died, with more casualties expected.


The flooded area covers a territory larger than the U.S. state of Massachusetts.

There is a problem:  Nearly 120,000 unexploded landmines from Bosnia’s 1992 – 1995 war remain in more than 9,400 carefully marked minefields.

One more problem:  The rains have unearthed and moved many of these land mines, and it is no longer clear where all of them are.   Flood waters triggered more than 3,000 landslides across the Balkans on Sunday – an estimated 2,100 in Bosnia and another 1,000 in Serbia.  

The mudslides moved into towns and villages, and they moved the mines and the warning signs that marked them.  Some of the mines are made of plastic and could be moved quite a distance in the water.