France provides over 130 landmine detectors to Azerbaijan [PHOTO]
By Sabina Mammadli
The French embassy in Baku has handed over 130 landmine detectors to Azerbaijan in accordance with the declaration of intent dated February 25, 2022.
The move is aimed at supporting Azerbaijan's humanitarian de-mining activities and the handover took place at the Horadiz office of the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA).
Chairman of the ANAMA Board Vugar Suleymanov and French ambassador Zacharie Gross spoke at the ceremony.
Suleymanov noted that the detectors provided by the embassy will ensure a much safer environment by contributing to the mine and UXO clearance activities carried out in Azerbaijan.
Afterward, they viewed the detectors, landmines, and unexploded ordnances, organized by the agency.
In a similar vein, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Mine Ban Campaign Hafiz Safikhanov said that three people, two of whom are civilians, got injured as a result of landmine and unexploded ordnance explosions during three incidents in Khojavand, Jabrayil, and Kalbajar districts of Azerbaijan in July 2022.
According to him, two cases were related to the anti-tank mine blasts.
“In the first seven months of 2022, a total of 35 people got injured, three people were killed, two of whom – from cluster munitions. During the period between November 10, 2020, and August 1, 2022, 102 civilians suffered, 32 people were killed, and 70 were injured," Safikhanov said.
He noted despite regular appeals from public agencies and civil society institutions, illegal visits to the liberated territories still take place, which poses a mine threat to their lives.
In violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, Armenia deliberately and constantly planted mines on Azerbaijani territories, thereby being a major threat to regional peace, security, and cooperation.
Previously, on June 12, Azerbaijan handed over 15 Armenian prisoners in exchange for a map detailing the location of 97,000 mines in formerly-occupied Aghdam.
On July 3, Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation of Fuzuli and Zangilan districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russian-brokered peace agreement on November 10, 2020, to end the 44-day fighting in Karabakh and work toward a comprehensive peace deal.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz