Unexploded ordnances (UXOs) remain a significant threat to life and livelihoods in the Republic of North Macedonia. Last year, over 14,000 UXOs were discovered near the stadium in Bitola alone. In some cases, UXOs are discovered by ordinary citizens. Without information on what steps to take if they encounter a remnant of war, they face the risk of grievous or fatal injury.
The Faculty of Security - Skopje, a partner organisation in the NATO SPS funded project VECTOR, commenced a campaign on 11.02.2021 to raise awareness among citizens about the danger of UXOs and what actions to take if encountered.
The campaign was realised in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior's (MoI) Prevention Department at the Sector for Internal Affairs - Bitola and the regional unit of the Protection and Rescue Directorate. Sase Gilevski, Head of the MoI Prevention Department as well as Gjorgji Stefanov and Elizabeta Apostolovska from the Bitola Regional Unit of the Protection and Rescue Directorate joined with members of the Faculty of Security - Skopje to carry out the event. This event is the first in a public awareness campaign that will be carried out in cities at high risk from UXOs.
Through the campaign, pamphlets were disseminated to the citizens of Bitola containing specific instructions on what to do if they encounter UXOs. By acting according to these guidelines, citizens can actively contribute towards increasing public safety and reducing the risk to life and health for themselves and fellow citizens.