ANAMA to receive locally produced demining machines

    KARABAKH  26 May 2023 - 16:14

    Azerbaijan’s Mine Agency (ANAMA) Chairman Vugar Suleymanov has said that Azerbaijan already has locally produced demining machines.

    He made the remarks at the 2nd International Conference on “'Mine Action - The Path To Reaching Sustainable Development Goals”, Report informs.

    “Azerbaijan already has locally produced demining machines. We will receive some of those machines this year,” he noted.

    Suleymanov added that ANAMA regularly receives new equipment with the support of the government.

    Additionally, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko said that the EU is a global leader responsible for mine action and a major partner of Azerbaijan in this area.

    Speaking at the event, he emphasized that the landmines continue to claim lives. The envoy also expressed condolences to their families.

    "The EU is also strengthening the cooperation of member countries to increase assistance and funding to Azerbaijan in mine clearance," he added.

    Michalko stressed that mine clearance implies that there will be no new minefields. In this regard, he highlighted that the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty should be taken into account, adding that mine action is also very important for the return of internally displaced people to their homes.

    He noted that the EU is also exploring the opportunity for participation in the restoration of these territories in the future.

    Besides, the envoy noted that mine action is also supported by ANAMA and various non-governmental organisations.

    Speaking at the same conference, Croatian ex-President Stjepan Mesić stated that the international community should support the countries affected by mines during the demining process and share the responsibility of a mine-affected country in the issue of demining and restoration of territories.

    "The demining process in Croatia continues, which is mainly due to the lack of maps of minefields," he added.

    The ex-president noted that we all bear responsibility to future generations, therefore, we should not only engage in mine action but also struggle for peace and cooperation, rather than for war and conflict.

    After achieving victory over Armenia in the Patriotic War in early November 2020, Azerbaijan launched the process of demining the territories that Armenia had been holding under occupation for almost three decades.

    Despite extensive efforts, demining operations faced many challenges due to Armenia’s refusal to hand over maps displaying the locations of the landmines.

    Azerbaijan obtained minefield maps of the once-occupied Aghdam, Fuzuli, and Zangilan districts from Armenia, which reportedly identify the coordinates of 189,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Armenia also provided the Azerbaijani side with mine maps of other liberated territories of Azerbaijan. In exchange for maps, Azerbaijan released dozens of Armenian saboteurs detained in Azerbaijani territory after the war. However, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said the accuracy of these maps did not exceed 25 per cent.

    AMAMA reported that the maps provided by Armenia were just 2 per cent effective in mine action. According to the Azerbaijani government data, international experts estimate that Azerbaijan needs nearly 30 years and $25 billion to solve issues related to demining.


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