Official: Mine problem slows down reconstruction in liberated territories
KARABAKH 09 June 2023 - 20:40
The mine problem slows down reconstruction and construction in the territories liberated from occupation and hinders the return of former internally displaced persons to their ancestral lands.
Habib Mikayilli, Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration, made the remark at the presentation of the book "Renaissance. Beginning" dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the national leader Heydar Aliyev, per Report.
According to him, Azerbaijan is among the 10 most mine-contaminated countries: "During the occupation, Armenia planted more than 1 million mines in these territories. After the Patriotic War, 300 people became victims of mine explosions. Today, destruction and mines in the liberated territories are the biggest problems facing our country."
The Presidential Administration official stressed that restoration is underway in Karabakh and East Zangazur.
The Karabakh and East Zangazur regions of Azerbaijan have been heavily mined by Armenia’s forces since the 1990s. Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Armenia launched a full-blown military assault against Azerbaijan.
Since the end of the Second Karabakh War, the Azerbaijani government has been carrying out demining operations in the liberated territories to expedite the return of internally displaced persons.
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 from Armenia for the Aghdam, Fuzuli, and Zangilan districts, which were previously occupied, and 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. However, ANAMA reported that these maps were just 2 per cent effective in mine action.
International experts estimate that it will take nearly 30 years and $25 billion to solve issues related to demining.
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