Azerbaijani mine action agency defuses nearly 285 mines, munitions in less than a week
By Vugar Khalilov
The Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) has defused nearly 285 mines and unexploded ordnance in the liberated land on June 1-4, Azernews reports, citing the agency.
During the demining operations, the agency discovered 54 anti-personnel, 25 anti-tank mines, and 206 unexploded ordnances in Tartar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Shusha, Gubadli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan regions, the report added.
A 357-hectare-area was cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances during the reported period.
On June 6, EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko stated that the union has already become the largest donor in supporting Azerbaijan’s de-mining efforts in Karabakh, Azernews reports.
The ambassador made the remarks at a presentation of a joint EU-UNDP (United Nations Development Program) project aimed at assisting the de-mining process in the Azerbaijani lands liberated from Armenian occupation.
"We’ll seek to raise more funds to speed up this process. We want to see the South Caucasus as a place without any mines," Michalko said.
The envoy also stated that the international community's assistance is required in the prohibition of mines.
"This project will benefit everyone who is at risk from unexploded ordnances and hopefully it will help save lives," he added.
The EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Organization and the UNDP Office in Azerbaijan have announced the commencement of a program to help those impacted by the previous Karabakh war.
The EU-funded Early Recovery Action Project will assist enhance the lives and livelihoods of communities living in formerly occupied territories by supporting de-mining works along the former line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani military forces.
Armenia alleged it gave to Azerbaijan all minefield maps of liberated territories following the talks through the mediation of the Russian Defence Ministry on December 4, 2021.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stated that the low accuracy of Armenia's minefield maps of Azerbaijani liberated territories slows the mine-clearance process.
"The demining operations are underway, but people are still losing their lives. From the end of the 44-day Second Karabakh War to the present, over 200 people have become victims of mine explosions in liberated lands," Bayramov said at that point.
He added that the high mine contamination of the liberated territories hinders the return of former internally displaced persons to their native lands.
ANAMA, along with partner countries, is carrying out demining activities on its liberated territories. Moreover, the State Border Service and the Defence Ministry are also engaged in demining activities in the liberated lands.
Armenia deliberately and constantly planted mines on Azerbaijani territories, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, thereby being a major threat to regional peace, security, and cooperation.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz