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Azerbaijan's working group on demining liberated lands holds regular meeting

16 April 2022 [11:34] - TODAY.AZ

By Trend

The regular meeting of the Working Group on clearing mines and unexploded ordnances in Azerbaijani lands liberated from Armenian occupation [in the 2020 second Karabakh war] at the Interdepartmental Center under the Coordination Headquarters, created for the centralized solution of issues in the liberated lands, was held, Trend reports.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Azerbaijan’s National Agency for Mine Action, the Cabinet of Ministers, the ministries of foreign affairs, economy, defense, and emergency situations, and the State Border Service.

During the meeting, information about the implementation of activities on clearing mines and unexploded ordnances in the liberated lands within the action plan, approved by Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers, was given.

As a result of humanitarian demining activities carried out by the National Agency for Mine Action on the liberated territories, 8,372.9 hectares of land were cleared from mines and unexploded ordnances, and 30,572 mines and ordnances were detected from November 10, 2020 [when the second Karabakh war ended] to April 14, 2022, while 506.4 hectares of land were cleared, 595 mines and unexploded ordnances were detected and neutralized on April 1-14 this year.

At the meeting, discussions were held on completed and ongoing demining projects based on the requests received by the National Agency for Mine Action.

It was noted that one civilian and one serviceman were injured in a mine explosion in Tartar and Zangilan districts in April.

According to information on demining operations conducted by the Defense Ministry, the ministry’s special engineering troops cleared 492.06 hectares of land from mines and unexploded ordnances, as well as detected 71 unexploded ordnances in Aghdam, Kalbajar, Lachin, Gubadli, Shusha, Khojaly and Khojavand districts from April 1 to 14, 2022.

Of the projects [on the clearing activities] approved by the action plan, 19 have already been completed, and work is underway on 14 projects. In general, the Defense Ministry cleared 15,026 hectares of land, and detected and neutralized 17,635 mines and unexploded ordnances.

It was underlined that 13 MEMATT (Mechanical Demining Supply equipment) are expected to be delivered by the end of April to increase the number of mechanical mine-clearing vehicles to support humanitarian demining activities.

According to the information about the mine-clearing activities conducted by the Ministry of Emergency Situations, a total of over one million square meters of land were cleared and 4,097 mines and unexploded ordnances were found in Aghdam and Fuzuli districts as of April 13, 2022. The ministry's 50 mine detection units were involved in clearing the area from mines.

According to the State Border Service, it cleared some 69 hectares of land defusing 38 mines and unexploded ordnances in April. In general, 775 hectares of land were cleared and 3,102 mines and unexploded ordnances were neutralized from November 10, 2020 to April 13, 2022 by the service.

Furthermore, the participants highlighted the importance of training instructors in this area conducted by the National Agency for Mine Action for representatives of the relevant departments of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the State Border Service.

Speaking about the study of minefields with the use of RAMS (Remote Aerial Minefield Survey) technology, the National Agency for Mine Action noted that 18,000 hectares of land in Zangilan, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Tartar and Gubadli districts were analyzed last year through the artificial intelligence.

According to the agency, the artificial intelligence software is capable of updating the memory of new objects found in the area. Besides, depending on the degree of pollution in the area, the artificial intelligence software allows for the use of several cleaning methodologies.

The participants stressed the importance of continuing awareness-raising activities on the danger of mines.

The representatives of relevant government agencies also exchanged views on other issues relevant to the activities of the Working Group and analyzed ways to jointly address issues.

The Coordination Headquarters established under the decree of the Azerbaijani president on November 24, 2020 is led by the Head of the Presidential Administration Samir Nuriyev.


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