BAKU, Azerbaijan, December 6. As a consequence of demining activities carried out in Azerbaijan from November 2020 until the present, a total of 114,400.9 hectares have been cleansed of mines and explosive relics of war, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) Vugar Suleymanov said, Trend reports.
He spoke at the International Baku Forum on "A healthy environment and a mine-free life to achieve sustainable development goals.".
He noted that Azerbaijan tops the list of countries on the level of contamination of territories with mines and explosive munitions, and it is sad that mines and explosive remnants of war not only pose a direct threat to human life and health but also cause great damage to the environment.
According to preliminary calculations, about 1.5 million mines have been placed in Azerbaijan's territories liberated from Armenian occupation, and about 9,000 square kilometers are contaminated with mines.
A total of 110,347 mines and other explosive remnants of war, including 30,795 anti-personnel mines, 18,582 anti-tank mines, and 60,970 unexploded ordnance, have been detected and neutralized.
According to him, it is deeply regrettable that the territories contaminated with mines threaten not only the lives and health of people but also the environment and reconstruction and construction work.
"We are aware of the genuine danger that mines represent to human life and health in our regular operations. From November 10, 2020, to the present, 338 individuals have been injured or killed by mines and other explosive remains of war, with 65 people killed and 273 suffering injuries of different severity," Suleymanov emphasized.
"The collaboration of state bodies and civil society is critical in bringing this threat to the attention of the international community. We strongly respect the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), both in demining and awareness-raising operations, as well as in incorporating mine victims in social and humanitarian initiatives," he noted.
Suleymanov went on to say that comments, countless petitions issued by NGOs in the world arena on countering the mine threat, and the implementation of projects in this area are critical.
The International Baku Forum on "Healthy Environment and Mine-Free Life to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals" is being organized by Azerbaijan's State Support Agency for Non-Governmental Organizations.
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