TODAY.AZ / Politics

Last week, almost 200 mines neutralised in Azerbaijan's liberated areas

24 June 2024 [15:23] - TODAY.AZ
Fatime Letifova

On June 17-23, 108 anti-tank mines, 79 anti-personnel mines, and 204 unexploded ordnances (UXOs) were detected and neutralised in the liberated areas.

Azernews reports that 946.3 hectares of land have been cleared of mines. It should be noted that ANAMA, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the State Border Service carried out demining operations.

Note that the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action, known as ANAMA, has grown from a fledgling organisation to one fully equipped to clear mines, provide risk education, and assist survivors of accidents. Today, ANAMA's efforts are aimed at continuing the increase and expansion of mine action capacity to provide clearance of all liberated areas of Azerbaijan.

Despite attempts at formally requesting information about the location of those mines, Armenia repeatedly denied that it possessed the relevant information and refused to engage on the issue.

Finally, in February of this year, Armenia submitted 8 minefield maps of territories located in the liberated lands to Azerbaijan. These maps cover some of the areas along the former contact line. However, the maps covering part of the former contact line passing through Khojavand, Tartar, and Goranboy districts, as well as the areas mined by Armenian military units when they retreated in November 2020, have not been submitted yet.

Many have suspicions about these maps because previous minefield maps submitted by Armenia were inaccurate. Only 25 percent of these maps were correct. Especially submitting minefield maps of the heights where civilians do not live increases this suspicion. It is also worth noting that more than 55% of recent landmine cases have occurred outside the areas covered by the information provided.

The behaviour that Armenia displayed in relation to the landmine threat is indeed another setback to the peace-building and confidence-building measures taken during the post-conflict period in the region.

It is worth noting that because Azerbaijan's liberated territories remain contaminated with mine, the new infrastructure and green energy projects remain a risky and problematic goal. These obstacles to a legal peace are part of the challenges facing the repopulation, development, and integration of the liberated territories on the path to a full peace.


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