It has been long 14 years since ANAMA was established in 1998 as a national agency responsible for coordination of all aspects of mine action in Azerbaijan. Fact remains that mine and UXO problem in Azerbaijan is a result of the military aggression of Armenia over Azerbaijan's territory, initiated by Armenia in 1990, and which resulted in occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani land which are still under occupation by the aggressor.
Since that time ANAMA jointly with international experts has managed to build a sustainable national capacity. To date, the national capacity of ANAMA has all the basic instruments of humanitarian demining - deminers, mine-detecting dogs, mechanical demining machines, bases, training facility, training and quality monitoring division, and rapid response teams. ANAMA also have expertise in areas such as the Mine Risk Education and Victim Assistance, and successfully carries out projects in these two areas. Overall, about 600 people today are involved in mine action in Azerbaijan, which allows us to clear/reduce more than 20 million sq.m. per year. To reach the present level of success we have come through the long way of several years of hard work in cooperation with our friends and colleagues and donor countries.
The problem of mines and unexploded ordnance in Azerbaijan is among the priorities for the GOA, as the reconstruction and development of war-affected territories and security for the local population is directly related to mine action. Extremely important aspect is the integration of ANAMA in the strategically important State Plan on Socio-Economic Development of Azerbaijan for 2003-2008 and 2009-2013, approved by the President of Azerbaijan. Since 1999 ANAMA has cleared and certified 181,472,035 sq m., found and destroyed 665,015 mines and UXO.
The State Committee of Land and Cartography of Azerbaijan Republic and Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action conducted post clearance survey in mine affected regions of the Republic. According to the results of the survey it was identified that areas cleared from mines and UXOs were consequently assigned for the following purposes: 2524 hectare for construction of settlements and individual houses for IDPs; 7362 hectare for development of agricultural activities; 5830 hectare was given under rent or for use to civilians; 1312 hectare was assigned for construction of plants and factories.
One of the UXO contaminated territories inherited from the former soviet periods is Saloglu ammunition depot. The clearance of this area lasted over five years within the joint ANAMA-NATO/NAMSA Partnership for Peace Trust Fund Project which covered the identification and destruction of all surface and immediate subsurface UXO and explosive hazards. Within this period more than 5 683 769 million square meters on the surface, and an equal amount in the sub-surface has been cleared. More than 640,000 individual dangerous items were found and safely destroyed.
With the support of Turkey as a Lead Nation to the Project and another 16 Donor States contributed Saloglu project was successfully completed in July 2011. ANAMA on its behalf expresses deepest gratitude to all donor states. The list of donor states within the Saloglu Project is introduced in the next pages of the booklet.
Another well known mine and UXO contaminated area inherited to Azerbaijan is Jeyranchel area which was a testing and training base for military forces of former Soviet Union intensively used from 1955 to 1991. It’s an area of 64 million square meters posing a serious humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental threat to the local population with its contamination with mines and UXOs.
After relevant negotiations and Project preparation work the Jeyranchel Clearance Project (JCP) was approved in October 2011as the second project of NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund in Azerbaijan; the US is the Lead Nation within the project and Azerbaijan Government covers 50% of total project budget. It is planned to start the implementation of the project in 2012 and during the first stage it is planned initially to clear UXO and mines from 19 million square meters of the area of Jeyranchel over a period of 28 months.
In 2010-2011 ANAMA participated and won in several tenders. ANAMA was the winner of tender held by NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) within the NATO project on destruction of explosive munitions carried out in Georgia with participation of great number of world scaled foreign organizations. As the winner of the tender ANAMA organized and held more than 9 training events for specialist from the neighboring Republic of Georgian.
In 2011 according to the contract on providing Mechanical Clearance and External Quality Assurance support in clearance operations, ANAMA successfully completed the demining operations on Turkey-Syria border crossing point with 160.000 square meters in Karkamish Area of Gaziantep Region, Turkey.
Furthermore within this year ANAMA prepared and collected all documents for tender on large demining activities to be held on Turkey-Syria border crossing point and sent to conforming body in the Republic of Turkey. We hope that ANAMA will be successful within the frame of this tender.
ANAMA conducts successful exchange of experience and actions on mutual assistance with international and local organizations dealing with mine clearance as well. ANAMA initiated the establishment of International Training Centre aiming to develop national potentiality in mine/UXO affected countries; and specialists from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Turkey were trained by ANAMA at the International Training Centre established by the support of Azerbaijan Government and UNDP Representative to Azerbaijan.
Using this opportunity I would also like to inform you that GOA, understanding the importance of humanitarian demining, and appreciating the support provided to ANAMA by the international community throughout all these years, since 2009 is acting as a donor in the maintenance of building national capacity in mine action for various nations.
Like every year, the production of this yearly booklet is reflecting ANAMA's activities during the previous year and plans for the upcoming as well as all related issues and concerns. I sincerely hope that you will find this brochure informative for all intents and purposes.