The Government of Azerbaijan requested the ANAMA to clear former Soviet Army military testing and training area located in Jeyranchel along the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, from mines and UXO. The total area of 64 sq.km was in active use by Soviet Army over the period 1955 -1991. The hazard from UXO and mines in the Jeyranchel presents a serious humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental threat to the local population.
During a visual survey in 2009, a large quantity of unexploded tank projectiles and artillery shells of different calibres, air-dropped bombs and other types of unexploded ordnance were seen on the surface. Most of these had been fired but failed to detonate and are in a hazardous state. The area around live firing targets contains very high concentrations of UXO, much of it buried. 7 sq.km of Jeyranchel is reported as mined area.
ANAMA-NATO/NAMSA Partnership for Peace Trust Fund Project “Jeyranchel Clearance Project” was officially confirmed by NATO in 4th of October 2011.
During two phases each 14 month long, ANAMA will have to clear 19 sq.km of the Western section of the total contaminated areas of former Soviet Army testing and training field. The United States has took a role of the Lead Nation for this project.
The cost of the project is estimated at EUR 3,090,000 over a period of 28 months. Azerbaijan Government being deeply concerned with the situation in Jeyranchel contributes 50% of the total cost of the project. The United States and United Kingdom has also kindly contributed to the Project.
Clearance operations started on April 03, 2012. During one month of operations 400, 403 sqm were cleared where 70 mine/UXOs were found.
On 9 May, 2012 NATO Liason Officer on South Caucasus Region, Mr. William Lahue, NATO/NAMSA Project Manager, Mr. David Towndrow, Romania Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mr. Daniel Cristian Ciobanu, as well as local executive authority representatives participated at the opening ceremony of the Jeyranchel Clearance Project which took place in Jeyranchel, Agstafa region.
The Opening Ceremony started with National Anthem of Azerbaijan Republic and followed by the hoisting of flags and the speeches delivered by guests regarding the mentioned Project.
After the opening ceremony ANAMA UXO Supervisor made a briefing on a vary Project in the situ and the guests acquainted with the training equipment organized by TSQA Division. ANAMA also demonstrated its manual clearance operations, mine detection dogs, as well as mechanical demining machine – Bozena 5 medium flail machine.
At the end, participants noted that they highly appreciate mine action activities implemented by ANAMA in Azerbaijan and abroad.
We would also like to note that an official opening ceremony of the Jeyranchel Clearance Project will be held on July 06, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baku with the participation of the Azerbaijan Government officials, NATO/NAMSA Representatives and representatives of donor nations.