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The armed conflict that took place in North Macedonia in 2001 lasted nearly a year and left the country with large amounts of weapons and ammunition. Issues related to arms and ammunition trafficking with neighbouring countries such as Albania have also made ammunition management measures harder to implement in the region.1 In November 2010, the Macedonian government adopted a decision to destroy excess ammunition stocks.2

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Regional Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) have been working on the ground to support the Macedonian government in managing its weapons and ammunition stocks. Efforts have included building and improving the security of armouries, developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for conventional ammunition stockpiles and conducting train-the-trainer courses to share the SOPs with local actors involved in ammunition management.3 The safety and security of ammunition stockpiles in the country is also addressed under the Western Balkan Roadmap Initiative, funded by the European Union.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, “20 Years On, Armed Conflict's Legacy Endures in North Macedonia,” Balkan Insight, January 22, 2021,

Bertelsmann Stiftung, BTI 2022 Country Report: Macedonia (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2022),; Pierre Gobinet, Significant Surpluses: Weapons and Ammunition Stockpiles in South-east Europe (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2011),

 “Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022,; “Reduction of the Risk for Proliferation of Weapons and Ammunition in the Republic of North Macedonia,” OSCE, accessed May 20, 2022,

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Map of North Macedonia

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in North Macedonia.

Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

Two cases of diversion have been reported since 2015 in North Macedonia.

Table 1. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in North Macedonia since 2015

Year Location Description



A large number of boxes containing 7.62 mm ammunition for automatic weapons, hand grenades, grenades and other equipment were seized.



Weapons and ammunition were stolen from the Macedonian police in an attack on the Gošince border.

Source: “Gošince Weapons Found in Malino,” Macedonian Information Centre, April 27, 2015,; V. Gordana, “After the Inspection: A Large Amount of Ammunition, Bombs and Grenades Were Stolen from the Police Warehouse in Ohrid,” Netpress, April 16, 2022,


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in North Macedonia.

Source: Pierre Gobinet, Significant Surpluses: Weapons and Ammunition Stockpiles in South-east Europe.


No needs have been reported for North Macedonia.

Source: North Macedonia, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of North Macedonia to the UN, 2018),

Published Date: Friday 17 of November 2023