Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action English  ENG Azeri   AZE

THE LIVES OF TENS OF PEOPLE RESCUED FROM …

The work of ANAMA and its implementing agencies of 'IEPF' and 'Relief Azerbaijan' within the framework of MRE programme regarding dissemination of safe behaviour rules and raising awareness among the people in mine/UXO contaminated areas gives its best results. OZM-72 type AP mine and RGD-5 type hand-grenade was found by the residents of Shikharkh village, Terter district. These findings were reported to the IEPF and successfully destroyed. The IEPF officers visited the school, organized a schoolwide meeting with the participation of all students and teachers, and a present was awarded to the "little courageous hero". Since 2004, ANAMA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has been implementing MRE courses at secondary schools of border-close and front-line districts of our country. As a result of this course lives of hundreds of people have been rescued from hazardous objects. Later on, Murtuzov Elmeddin Murad oglu, a 4th grader of Shikharkh village secondary school, could convince his father that the 'metal' he found in their yard was a fragmentation mine and in its turn they immediately informed the deminers about their finding. On the 18th of May, 2007, another pupil of Shikharkh village secondary school Budagov Vugar Heydar oglu (the 9th grader) located some UXO. Remembering the knowledge acquired at MRE lessons Vugar without touching the unknown dangerous objects he marked the place and informed his parents and deminers. The deminers and Terter district officials discovered that these 5 improvised hand-grenades were active and any wrong action, touching or burning could be cause of explosion. Since they had been remaining in the ground for several years they were considered to be very dangerous. Later on, mine-warning signs were set around the place and on the next day the hand grenades were taken and destroyed. So, the lives of dozens of innocent residents rescued from danger…       01.05.07 ANAMA PARTICIPATED IN THE 17th MEETING OF SEEMACC On 25 April, 2007 ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismayilov participated in the 17th meeting of the South-Eastern Europe Mine Action Coordination Council (SEEMACC). The 17th meeting of SEEMACC was aimed at discussion on establishment of the regional database on mine action specialists with further possibility of their exchange between mine affected countries in South East Europe. The agreement establishing SEEMACC was signed on November 30, 2000 by the Directors of Mine Action Centers of Albania (AMAE), Croatia (CROMAC) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH MAC) and International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF). The need for the exchange of views, expertise and experience in the field of mine action was recognized at the first meeting of Directors of the SE Europe MACs held on April 13, 2000, which eventually led to the establishment of SEEMACC. SEEMACC membership is also open to other interested countries in the region. Montenegro (SCG) and the Mine Action Center Belgrade (MAC Belgrade) joined SEEMACC in January 2002, followed by Azerbaijan (at their request) in February 2002. In 2003 UNMIK/EOD Management Section and Regional MDD Center BiH also became observers. In 2004, Croatian Center for Testing, Development and Training also joined SEEMACC as an observer. ( http://www.itf-fund.si/dokumenti/dokument.asp?id=64 )       01.05.07 ANAMA ATTENDED THE 4th INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM "HUMANITARIAN DEMINING - 2007", in CROATIA On 23-29 April, 2007 ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov and Acting Operations Manager Mr. Samir Poladov participated in the 4th International Symposium "Humanitarian Demining 2007" held in Sibenik, Republic of Croatia. The Symposium was organized by the Croatian Mine Action Centre - CROMAC ( http://www.hcr.hr/index.php?link=aktualnosti-opsirnije&aid=567&lang=en ). The aim of the symposium was to provide a forum for the use and management of machines in mine action. A number of field demonstrations and tests were held on the strengths and weaknesses of the operational procedures being used in different countries.     09.04.07 PRESS CONFERENCE IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR MINE AWARENESS On 6 April, 2007 the press conference in commemoration of International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action held in Baku International Press Center organized jointly by the Centre of Social and Psychological Rehabilitation for Youth "Dirchelish" (NGO "Revival") and ANAMA. Representatives from UN Department of Public Information, Turkish Embassy, International Committee of the Red Cross, Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, Ministry of Health, and Ombudsman Apparatus has been participated in the conference. Mr. Islam Bakhshaliyev, the Director of Dirchelish NGO opened the conference noting that the 4 of April was designated by UN General Assembly as a day of remembrance for raising public awareness about the danger of landmines and explosive remnants of war, for ensuring the progress towards their eradication. According the information distributed by UN agencies on occasion of International Mine Awareness Day landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to kill or injure about 15.000 people a year around the world. The 50 percent of mine victims are civilians and 85 percent children die as a result of explosion. ANAMA Information Manager, Mr. A. Aliyev informed the journalists and guests about the scope of the mine problem in Azerbaijan, ANAMA achievements and activities in mine/UXO clearance, mine risk education and mine victim assistance which are important components of mine action. The press conference received wide media coverage by a number of information agencies, leading newspapers and TV stations.       09.04.07 THANKS LETTER BY UNDPI REPRESENTATIVE, ENVERA SELIMOVIC Mr. Nazim Ismayilov Director Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action Dear Mr. Ismayilov On behalf of the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) I would like to thank you for your kind support in organizing a very educational and useful trip to the Fizuli region on 3-4 April 2007. To mark International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, together with the representatives of the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), I visited ANAMA facilities in the Horadiz Camp to observe your operational activities on the site. Thanks to your Agency, there was also a chance to meet with de-miners, and watch mechanical de-mining and mine detection dog operations. After this very informative tour on the field, we visited Secondary School No.2 in the Horadiz resettlement and participated in a mine-risk education class. Let me also express my gratitude to Mr. Musa Jalalov, ANAMA MRE Department Manager and Ms. Sabina Jalilova, ANAMA PR Officer for their excellent cooperation during this event. I wish you all great success in your courageous work of making these affected areas safer for everyone. Please be assured that we regard remaining active in mine-risk education and supporting your de-mining activities to be high on the UNDPI agenda. Sincerely yours Envera Selimovic UNDPI Representative in Azerbaijan       09.04.07 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR MINE AWARENESS AND ASSISTANCE IN MINE ACTION The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was declared by the UN General Assembly and observed in 2006 for the first time. It calls for continued efforts by states, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels. Landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to kill or injure as many as 15,000 people a year around the world today. The overwhelming majority of victims are civilians who trigger the devices years or even decades after a conflict has ended. Mine action includes finding and destroying these landmines and explosive remnants of war, assisting victims, and teaching people how to remain safe in a mine-affected environment. 14 UN agencies, programmes, departments and funds provide mine action services in dozens of countries, including Azerbaijan. To commemorate April 4, a group of representatives of the UN Office in Azerbaijan (Ms. E. Selimovic, UNDPI; Mr. F. Abbaszadeh, UNDP; Mr. R.Rzehak and Ms. N.Osmanli from UNICEF), headed by Mr. M. Jalalov, ANAMA MRE Department Manager visited Fizuli region on April 3-4 to highlight the importance of the Day and to keep the cause in the spotlight in Azerbaijan where the challenges in this field are very acute. The guests visited ANAMA facilities in the Horadiz Regional Base to get acquainted with the operational activities on the site, to meet with deminers, and observe mechanical demining and mine detection dog operations as well. Within the frame of the visit the guests had an opportunity to pay a visit to Horadiz village school # 2 to participate in a mine risk education lesson, open to all supported by the Government of Azerbaijan and UNICEF. The deminers of "Relief Azerbaijan", a National Humanitarian Assistance NGO visited Giyameddinly village, arranged a school wide ceremony for all students and teachers where the Day was commemorated and the participants got acquainted with de-mining operations and mine/UXO hazardous areas in this district. The deminers demonstrated mine/UXO models, using detectors showed visually the operating process and tried to aware them about safe behaviour rules and messages. The pedagogical stuff of the school expressed their gratitude due to occasion and humanitarian job that they executed. With the help of teachers of Chayli village, the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) deminers held a ceremony in the schoolyard in which the heads of executive authority, municipality and mine victims, spokesman of the village and chief of "Mine Victims Association" of Terter district participated. The cleared land was handed over to the farmers for cultivation; it was a real present for local residents on that day. One of the important activities of the Day was the setting up billboards and mine warning signs in the entrances of a newly identified mine/UXO hazardous area.       05.04.07 ANAMA ATTENDED THE 10th INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF MINE ACTION On 19-24 March, 2007 ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov participated in the tenth annual meeting of UN Advisors and National Directors on Mine Actions, held in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting brings together senior officials from mine action programmes, staff from UN departments and agencies, representatives from international and non-governmental organizations and experts from donor countries, to discuss a wide range of issues related to mine action. The meeting has been hosted by the GICHD since 1998, and is funded by a contribution of the Government of Switzerland. The gathering comprised of general meetings, meeting of MA Directors, UN Advisors and specialized workshops dedicated to specific issues.       03.04.07 CONFIDENCE BUILDING THROUGH MINE ACTION On March 25-27, 2007 the OSCE Workshop on Confidence Building and Regional Cooperation in Central Asia and South Caucasus through Mine Action held in Almaty, Kazakhstan as the joint endeavor of the ministries of foreign affairs of Slovenia and Canada. The Workshop have been hosted by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Workshop aimed at 1) facilitating exchange of information on landmines and Ottawa Convention; 2) promoting successful models of regional cooperation and confidence building; 3) contributing to better dialogue and cooperation among nations through eradication of mines, and, finally, allowing OSCE to examine how mine action along with its core activities could improve the socio-economic situation and strengthen the role in the region. The representatives the regional countries, besides Armenia and Uzbekistan, but including Afghanistan and Mongolia have been involved. ICBL, UNDP, GICHD, UNMAS, ICRC and FSD as the focal points of mine action took part and made the valuable presentations on the subject of the Workshop. International Trust Fund for mine victim assistance and demining (ITF) from Slovenia is the leading organization there successfully utilizing regional cooperation in Balkans with some good experience in South Caucasus. Regional cooperation in Americas served as another successful case presented at the Workshop. The Implementation Support Group for Ottawa Convention from GICHD made the very informative presentation on current status on acceding to the Convention and fulfillment of obligations by signatory countries. GICHD role in mine action worldwide was the subject of the presentation of the Operations Director of the Center Mr. Ian Mansfield. Azerbaijan has been represented by Mr. Aziz Aliyev from ANAMA and AzCBL have been presented at the Workshop as well. ANAMA presentation demonstrated how demining embedded into country development context, how Azerbaijan benefits already from regional cooperation and experience exchange participating in regional entities and international programs, including S.E.E.M.A.C.C. and UNDP MAX Program, how ANAMA is going to take benefit from furthering of cooperation and what kind of contribution Azerbaijan is ready to make for the benefit of regional countries. The role of expertise in mine action worldwide in providing assistance to mine survivors has been stressed. It has been also stressed that Azerbaijan is considering the peaceful settlement of the conflict with Armenia as the turning point making accession of Azerbaijan to Ottawa Convention possible and facilitating confidence building and regional cooperation for mine action and through mine action.     06.03.07 "Clearance of Unexploded Ordnances in Azerbaijan" Project was presented in the NATO PfP Trust Fund On 22-23 February, 2007 ANAMA Planning and Development Manager, Mrs. Nigar Azimova participated in the NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund Workshop organized by the NATO and United States Department of State. The presentation of Mrs. Azimova reflected the setting up and management of the "Clearance of unexploded ordnances in Azerbaijan" Project, in other words Saloglu Clearance Project, from the Host Nation perspective. Representatives of 43 nations and other international organizations discussed best practices for Trust Fund projects to retrain former military personnel, and the safe destruction of surplus munitions, small arms and light weapons. The workshop provided participants with an overview of the Trust Fund process and discussed the specific requirements of all states participating in projects. It should be mentioned that the NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund was established in 1999 (www.nato.int/pfp/trust-fund.htm), and seven Projects have been successfully completed. New projects worth over $41 million (32 million Euros) are underway in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine. All of these initiatives are part of NATO's practical contribution to combating terrorism, supporting nations' defense reforms, and safely destroying surplus conventional arms and munitions.       04.03.07 Railway Clearance Training In the period of 19-28 February, 2007 the training course on "Railway Clearance" was conducted in Khanlar Regional Training Base of ANAMA by the support of US Marines through the US EUCOM. ANAMA Ops. Department representatives including a majority of the Training and Quality Assurance Team instructors had been participated as well as a senior field management staff representatives of ANAMA and 2 implementing NGO. Graduation Ceremony took place on 28 February 2007, at the Regional Training Base in Khanlar district with the participation of US EUCOM and ANAMA representatives. In their speeches the training instructors underscored the broad-spectrum capacity and knowledge of ANAMA personnel and different ways of their application. At the end of the ceremony, Certificates of Appreciation were presented to all the participants for successful delivery of the Training Course.       23.02.07 MG Deputy Commander, US Marine Corps Forces Europe, Mr. Andrew B. Davis highly valued ANAMA's activities On February 21, 2007 Major General Deputy Commander, US Marine Corps Forces Europe, Mr. Andrew B. Davis paid a visit to ANAMA facilities in Khanlar district to get familiarized with the mine clearance operations, assessed the training on "Railway Clearance Operations" supported by USEUCOM. During his visit to the region Major General Deputy Commander, Mr. Andrew Davis visited the Resource Center in Ganja city ran by the Ocag Humanitarian Association on reintegration of mine victims into society. On February 23 meeting between Director and delegation headed by MG Davis was organized in ANAMA HQs. They were provided with detailed information on current status and activities implemented by the Agency. The presentation reflecting the scope of the mine and UXO problem in Azerbaijan, success and progress achieved by the Agency up to the present were delivered to the delegation. During the presentation MG Davis has put numerous questions demonstrating his unveiled interest to the mine/UXO problem in Azerbaijan, especially in occupied territories. He stressed at the end the US Marines' capability to continue supporting ANAMA through the USEUCOM since they have new information, experience and understanding of the problem gained in Iraq. Mr. Ismaylov stated ANAMA interest in this collaboration because it allows to gradually develop national capacity for resolving various problems. The Director also touched upon that the railway clearance training is conducting in Khanlar Regional Office by the support of US Marines through the USEUCOM. We will be prepared to clear rail-road along the border with Iran on the occupied territory once the lands are liberated. We started from the scratch in 2001, he said, and now capable of doing good job. During the PMSC in Brussels where he participated with the presentation on NATO/NAMSA and ANAMA joint Project, the Saloglu Project has been evaluated as the unique one. NAMSA is going to assign ANAMA as the implementing partner for mine/UXO clearance operations abroad. ANAMA experience can be used also through the provision of staff trainings at Agency's facilities. He thanked MG Davis for visiting carpet and tailors' shop for mine survivors' family members in Ganja. General highly valued the project providing needy people an opportunity to earn money for their families. Finally, Major General Deputy Commander, US Marine Corps Forces Europe, Mr. Andrew B. Davis expressed his gratitude for well receiving and appreciated the efforts of the staff in Khanlar Regional Office.       16.02.07 ANAMA DIRECTOR ATTENDED THE MEETING OF PMSC 5-10 February, 2007 ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismayilov had a visit to Brussels. On 6 February Agency Director had a meeting with the Head of Sector for Conventional DisarmamentOn and Human Security, Daniela DiCorrado to discuss future perspectives in cooperation between ANAMA and EC. Since 2002 EC has provided tangible financial support to the Mine Action in Azerbaijan. With the support of EC the first Mine Victim Assistance has been initiated as well as expends on MRE campaign. The EC supported the establishment and further development of the mechanical demining capacity which allowed us to rapidly reduce mine suspected areas as well as mark and fence huge suspected mine areas of low priority. On 7-8 February, 2007 ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov participated in the meeting of Political-Military Steering Committee (PMSC) held in NATO Headquarters. During the meeting in PMSC Agency Director delivered detailed information about the NATO/PfP Trust Fund Saloglu Clearance Project. After the practical implementation of the Project started, it has become clear that the problem is more serious than it seemed initially and its solution would be more difficult than it was initially considered by international experts during their assessment missions to Azerbaijan. The main challenge is that the real level of contamination at these areas is much higher and the problem is more complicated than it had been anticipated. As a consequence the clearance of the land is to be more difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, the Project was revised and the proposal covering revealed aspects of the problem was developed. The reassessment mission to Saloglu comprised of the NATO/NAMSA experts and ANAMA specialists have been organized. The results of the mission confirmed the necessity of launching the Second Phase of Saloglu Project to provide the required safety level of the clearance in accordance with the international standards. The Saloglu Project envisages the clearance of 5,683,769 sq.m., the most contaminated land in 16 months. Director made a one day visit to Luxembourg to meet with Director of Logistics and Operations Admiral, Mrs. Linda Bird to discuss the Saloglu Clearance Project and possible further cooperation.       16.02.07 U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Mr. Michael Colter visited ANAMA HQs On February 13, 2007, the delegation headed by U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Mr. Michael Colter was hosted in the ANAMA HQs and had a meeting with ANAMA Director. The ANAMA documentary demonstration and presentation reflecting the scope of the mine and UXO problem of Azerbaijan, as well as ANAMA achievements up-to-day and plans for the upcoming years, and long and short term strategy have been delivered to the guests. ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov informed that the Azerbaijan Government increases financial support to the Agency year by year, when donor countries decrease it. Director noted that the United States is the key donor of ANAMA, which covers about 80% of the Agency demining expenditures. In his term the U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Mr. Michael Colter mentioned that he will raise this issue at the USDoS Headquarter in Washington. He underscored that the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action can be a model for Mine Action Agencies for other countries.