British government to finance demining operations in Azerbaijani border regions

14 September 2016 14:52 (UTC+04:00)

By Rashid Shirinov

The British government will fund the demining operations to be held in the Azerbaijani border region to clear the areas from mines and unexploded ordnance (UXOs). 

The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) and the British Embassy in Azerbaijan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on September 14 to fund the demining project that will be implemented starting from late this September to the end of March of next year.

The Memorandum was signed by ANAMA director Gazanfar Ahmadov and British Ambassador to Azerbaijan Carol Crofts.

ANAMA implements demining operations in the regions adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, being for over two decades occupied by neighboring Armenia. The frontline areas are constantly being mined by Armenian troops.

In addition to this, Armenia further breaks international laws by using banned chemical weapons against Azerbaijan. For instance, a shell containing chemicals landed in Eskipara village of the Terter district of Azerbaijan. It was later found and neutralized by ANAMA on May 10.

Recently, ANAMA announced the statistical data of its August work on clearing the territory of Azerbaijan from mines and UXOs.

So, ANAMA cleansed a territory of 7.3 million square meters from mines and UXO in August. As a result, 27,007 UXOs and 17 anti-personnel mines were detected and neutralized.

A total of 505 persons of operation staff and 125 of administrative staff participated in cleansing of the territories. The operations also included six mechanical minesweeping vehicles and 34 sappers.

To date, territory of more than 385 million square meters was cleaned, while the number of found and neutralized mines and UXOs is 752,059 units.

In August, ANAMA held its operations in Absheron, Agdam, Aghjabadi, Agstafa, Fuzuli, Ganja, Goranboy, Tartar and Garadagh regions and Guzdek village in Azerbaijan.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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