Sweden assists Montenegro with napalm disposal

Sweden is helping Montenegro dispose of 26 tonnes of napalm that was stored at a military facility in the Bay of Kotor, a popular tourist destination on its Adriatic coast.

The napalm was deactivated along with more than 100,000 litres of old rocket fuel by experts from the Swedish company SAKAB, Montenegro’s defence ministry said in a statement.

It is to be transported in special containers to Gothenburg, after which it will be transported to a chemical disposal site in central Sweden where it will be destroyed later this week.

“It will take place at our facility in Kumla,” said SAKAB’s Stefan Holm to the TT news agency.

Holm is responsible for industrial chemicals at SAKAB and says that handling napalm isn’t any more complicated that the company’s regular activities.

“It happens through a high temperature incineration, so that it’s broken down into its basic components,” he said of the napalm disposal process.

The project was jointly conducted by the Montenegrin government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the statement said.

Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic of some 650,000 inhabitants which hopes to turn its Adriatic coast into a tourist Mecca, still needs to destroy almost 10,000 tonnes of conventional ammunition.

Since breaking away from a union with Serbia in a historic independence referendum in 2006, Montenegro has set its sights on joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

So far it has joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, seen as the first step towards full membership in the military alliance.

Napalm, an explosive phosphorous gel used widely by US forces during the Vietnam war, was banned in a 1980 UN convention.