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Last Updated: 08 December 2012

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

Tajikistan is contaminated by mines and other ordnance as a result of civil war in 1992–1997 and mine-laying along its borders by Russian and Uzbek forces. It is not known to what extent conflict with a non-state armed group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, has added new contamination. In view of the security situation, the region has not yet been accessible for survey, although one has been planned as soon as the situation in the region is stabilized.[1] The precise extent of contamination across Tajikistan remains to be determined.


Tajikistan is contaminated with mines along its borders with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. As of April 2012, there were 6.5km2 of suspected hazardous areas along Tajikistan’s Afghan Border and a further 2.3km2 in the Central region. Non-technical survey was ongoing along the Uzbek border.[2]

Cluster munition remnants

There is also a residual threat from cluster munition remnants, particularly in the Central region, although the precise location and extent of contamination is not known.[3]

Other explosive remnants of war

The extent of contamination from other explosive remnants of war is not known, and may include unexploded ordnance from Ministry of Defense (MoD) training exercises.[4]

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2012

National Mine Action Authority


Mine action center


International demining operators

NGOs: Swiss Foundation for Mine Action, Norwegian People’s Aid

National demining operators

MoD Humanitarian Demining Team

NGO: Union of Sappers of Tajikistan

The Commission on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law (CIIHL) is Tajikistan’s national mine action authority. The CIIHL is chaired by the deputy prime minister for security.[5] On 29 April 2010, the government issued Decree No. 202 to approve the National Strategy of Border Management and its Implementation Plan. The strategy underscores the need to demine the border areas, aiming in particular at improving the quality of the border control services.[6]

The Tajikistan Mine Action Center (TMAC) was established on 20 June 2003 and functions as an executive body of the CIIHL in accordance with an agreement between Tajikistan and UNDP. TMAC is responsible for the coordination and monitoring of all mine action activities in Tajikistan. TMAC also develops the national mine action plan and standards, tasks operations, and presents certificates of cleared sites to local authorities.[7] As of August 2011, the government of Tajikistan was still considering whether to change TMAC’s status to make it a fully national body and a distinct legal entity, either under the government or directly under the president.[8]

In 2006, a national mine action strategy was formulated for 2006–2010 and approved by the government.[9] In December 2009, UNDP contracted a consultant to develop the new national mine action strategy for 2010–2015.[10] The strategy was approved in May 2011.[11]

The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) had been the only international demining operator in Tajikistan for many years, but in November 2010 Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) formally launched a demining program.[12]

A local NGO, the Union of Sappers of Tajikistan consisting of former MoD engineers, is working under a memorandum of understanding with the MoD. It is funded by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and has stated that it does not receive support from TMAC nor does it report back to TMAC.[13]

Land Release

In 2011, Tajikistan claimed clearance of 1.6km2 but did not provide a breakdown of this clearance by operator.[14]


Five-year summary of land release by clearance


Mined area cleared (km2)

Battle area cleared (km2)



















Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the 10-year extension granted at the Second Review Conference in 2009), Tajikistan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 April 2020.

In general, mine clearance has proceeded slowly, and operations were only initiated several years after Tajikistan became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Furthermore, Tajikistan has still to establish the precise extent of mine contamination, although re-survey has clarified the mine threat on the border with Afghanistan. New national and international capacity, including machines and mine detection dogs, should speed up land release significantly and should enable Tajikistan to fulfill its Article 5 obligations well before its 2020 deadline.

Quality management

Mine clearance in Tajikistan is conducted in accordance with the National Mine Action Standards (NMAS) adopted in March 2008 based on the International Mine Action Standards.[15] In February 2009, an NMAS on land release was approved by TMAC.[16] The national standard land release form has eight criteria for determining whether land can be released without the need for clearance.[17] Additional NMAS on planning, reporting, and mechanical demining were approved in February 2011.[18]

TMAC has a two-person quality management section.[19]


[1] Interview with Jonmahmad Rajabov, Director, TMAC, 25 December 2010; and email from Parviz Mavlonkulov, Operations Manager, TMAC, 18 January 2011.

[2] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 May 2012.

[3] Telephone interview with Parviz Mavlonkulov, TMAC, 18 August 2009; and email, 28 April 2010.

[4] Jonmahmad Rajabov, “Explosive Remnants of War and Their Consequences,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 10.2, Fall 2006, www.maic.jmu.edu.

[5] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2009, p. 4.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 25 March 2011, p. 22.

[7] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2009, p. 4.

[8] Emails from Zonas Zachrisson, NPA, 2 August 2011; from Parviz Mavlonkulov, TMAC, 28 April 2010; and from Jonmahmad Rajabov, TMAC, 3 June 2010.

[9] Telephone interview with Jonmahmad Rajabov, TMAC, 18 August 2009.

[10] Email from Parviz Mavlonkulov, TMAC, 28 April 2010.

[11] Email from Zonas Zachrisson, NPA, 2 August 2011.

[12] Øystein Sassebo Bryhni, “Clearing mines in Tajikistan,” NPA website, 30 November 2010, www.folkehjelp.no.

[13] Interviews with Amonkhodja Khodjibekov, Chairman, Union of the Sappers of Tajikistan; and with Maj. Gen. Abdukakhor Sattorov, MoD, Dushanbe, 25 May 2011.

[14] Statement of Tajikistan, Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 2 December 2011.

[15] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2009, p. 2.

[16] Telephone interview with Parviz Mavlonkulov, TMAC, 5 August 2009.

[17] Email from Parviz Mavlonkulov, TMAC, 3 June 2010.

[18] Ibid., 18 January 2011.

[19] Ibid., 28 April 2010.