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Country Reports
AZERBAIJAN, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Key developments since May 2004: Azerbaijan has expressed greater support for the Mine Ban Treaty and eradicating antipersonnel mines. The Deputy Foreign Minister indicated Azerbaijan will prepare a voluntary Article 7 report and will vote in favor of the pro-ban UNGA resolution. In 2004, more than 2.4 square kilometers of mined areas and nearly 4.8 square kilometers of UXO-contaminated land was cleared and area-reduced. Clearance capacity increased in 2004. Funding decreased from 2003 to US$3.2 million in 2004, including $255,000 from the government. Mine risk education focused on strengthening community-based initiatives and integrating it into the school curricula. The number of new mine/UXO casualties increased in 2004. A countrywide survey identified 1,883 mine survivors.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Azerbaijan has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Its policy toward banning antipersonnel mines and joining the treaty has evolved in the last year. While it still states that it cannot accede until the conflict with Armenia has ended, Azerbaijan has shown greater signs of support and a willingness to discuss issues.

In June 2005, Azerbaijan told Mine Ban Treaty States Parties that it “has supported from the outset the idea of having a comprehensive international legal document on prohibition of use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel mines.” It stated that Azerbaijan is already fulfilling some of the provisions of the treaty, noting that Azerbaijan does not produce or transfer antipersonnel mines and engages in mine clearance and mine victim assistance activities. It further said that Azerbaijan is “currently considering some other obligations under the Convention which we could take without acceding...” and specifically mentioned the possible provision of an Article 7 transparency report. It concluded that the Mine Ban Treaty has become “a powerful advocacy tool for making [the] international community aware of [the] mine problem and its consequences,” and has “raised the commitment of all involved to resolve the problem or assist others in its resolution.”[1 ]

Similar remarks were made at a mine action donors meeting in Baku on 7 April 2005 by Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Araz Azimov, and the Director of the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), Nazim Ismayilov. Deputy Minister Azimov said that while “Azerbaijan is forced to use and store antipersonnel mines while we are at conflict with Armenia... [we] believe the conflict will be solved soon and Azerbaijan will accede to the treaty.”[2 ] The ANAMA Director said, “The establishment of ANAMA is an important step of the government of Azerbaijan towards the objectives of the Ottawa Convention. Azerbaijan believes that the complete prohibition and destruction of antipersonnel mines is the principal humanitarian goal.”[3 ] Azerbaijan officials have expressed support for a mine ban on other occasions in 2004 and 2005.[4 ]

Azerbaijan did not participate in the First Review Conference held in Nairobi in November-December 2004, but attended the June 2005 meetings of the intersessional Standing Committees and made a statement on its national position toward the treaty.[5 ]

Azerbaijan has been one of the small number of countries to abstain from voting on every annual UN General Assembly resolution calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty since 1997, including UNGA Resolution 59/84 on 3 December 2004. However, in April and May 2005, the Deputy Foreign Minister told the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines (AzCBL) and the ICBL that Azerbaijan will reconsider its position on this issue in 2005, will change its vote, and will also provide an explanation of the vote.[6 ] The ICBL undertook a special advocacy and research mission to Azerbaijan in May 2005.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also told the AzCBL and ICBL delegation that Azerbaijan was preparing a voluntary Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report, as a sign of its commitment to eradicating antipersonnel mines.[7 ]In June 2005, Azerbaijan’s representative told States Parties, “Apart from known limitations coming from national security concerns Azerbaijan is considering to provide transparency reports under Article 7 of the Convention. All procedures concerning preparation of this report are being implemented by ANAMA in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence. Should the conflict have settled and Azerbaijan signed the Treaty, the mechanism is ready to coordinate this report and submit it to the UN Secretary-General.”[8 ]

The Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines undertook a variety of activities in 2004 and 2005 in support of the landmine ban. AzCBL organized several media briefings and met with government officials, members of parliament, international and local NGOs, and others, issued monthly bulletins, and encouraged joint accession to the Mine Ban Treaty by Azerbaijan and Armenia as a confidence-building measure.

Azerbaijan is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons or any of its protocols. It attended as an observer the Sixth Annual Meeting of States Party to Amended Protocol II in November 2004.

On 3 November 2004, Azerbaijan attended the inaugural meeting in New York of the Forum of Mine-Affected Countries (FOMAC), a group of high-level representatives from mine-affected countries.  FOMAC was formed to encourage cooperation between mine-affected countries.[9]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

Azerbaijan has stated on many occasions that it does not produce or export antipersonnel mines.[10 ] In June 2005, Azerbaijan said that it “is unilaterally committed to non producing and non accumulating” antipersonnel mines.[11 ] Landmine Monitor is not aware of any specific legal measures Azerbaijan has taken to prohibit production or trade in antipersonnel mines.

Azerbaijan’s landmine stockpile is a legacy of the Soviet era, but the number and types of landmines held is not known. All sides used landmines during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and sporadically after the signing of the armistice in May 1994. There have been no confirmed instances of use of antipersonnel mines since Landmine Monitor began reporting in 1999.

Landmine and ERW Problem

Azerbaijan’s landmine problem is largely a result of the conflict with Armenia between 1988 and 1994, but abandoned Soviet-era munition dumps and unexploded ordnance (UXO) also pose a significant threat. A Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) by the Survey Action Center (SAC) and International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) indicated that 18 of 65 districts in Azerbaijan were contaminated by landmines and UXO. More than half of the affected communities were located in Fizuli region in the west of Azerbaijan near Nagorno-Karabakh, and in the region of Aghstafa in the northwest, where a Soviet army base was formerly located. The survey did not cover areas under the control of Armenia, including Nagorno-Karabakh, the Nakhchivan region or small areas denied access by the military.[12]

ANAMA estimates that some 92 square kilometers of land in the areas under Azeri control are suspected to be mined and another 44 square kilometers are identified as UXO-contaminated. The extent of the mine and UXO problem in areas occupied by Armenian forces (Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadly, Lachin, Kelbajar, and parts of Fizuli and Aghdam districts) is not known, but is expected to be severe.[13 ]

Mine Action Program

ANAMA, a civilian governmental agency, was established on 18 July 1998, initially as the Azerbaijan National Agency for Demining. In 2004-2005, ANAMA continued to serve as the national agency responsible for coordinating all aspects of mine action within Azerbaijan.[14 ] ANAMA reports directly to the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also responsible for a joint working group consisting of representatives from ministries, donors and implementing agencies. The working group’s role is to review policy, procedure and performance of the mine action program, and make recommendations for improvement.[15]

An Azeri National Strategic Plan, adopted in October 2001, was revised on 24 November 2003 to cover the period 2004-2008, taking into account the results of the LIS. Clearance priorities are set each year in ANAMA’s annual workplan.[16 ] Priorities are set according to the results of the LIS, completed in 2003, and a general survey carried out by IEPF in 2000.[17 ]However, it is not clear what criteria are used for determining priorities.  The annual workplans for 2004 and 2005 were based on the revised strategic plan.[18 ]

It was reported that by 2007, ANAMA intends to clear all Azeri territory, not occupied by Armenian forces, of mines and UXO. According to remarks attributed to ANAMA’s Director: “Certainly for that purpose we need to increase the number of deminers, MDDs [mine detection dogs] and mechanical machines for demining operations. That’s why the plans of the agency include the annual increase of demining machines and to bring it to 10 units.”[19 ]

ANAMA believes that to clear mines from the occupied territories after their liberation will take several years. After liberation, ANAMA plans to create about seven regional bases to which will be allocated teams of deminers, dogs and machines. It is estimated that 700 deminers will be needed (currently there are 180), 70 dogs (currently 22) and 70 machines (currently three, but 26 are planned).[20]

In June 2004, additional mine clearance capacity (recruitment and training of 12 deminers) was funded by the UK. Training of the new deminers was supplemented by an additional basic demining course, funded directly by the government.[21 ] In October, a new technical survey team of five people was established and made operational. This new team is administered by IEPF and currently deployed to Ter-Ter district. This was made possible by Japanese funding provided to ANAMA on a bilateral basis. ANAMA’s new 10-man emergency response team was established in June 2004, in order to respond to urgent requests for clearance in mine-affected districts of Azerbaijan.

In 2004, the European Commission (EC), Italy and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) funded the procurement of a mechanical demining flail ($328,000), a BOZENA-4 remotely controlled mini-flail system.[22 ] ANAMA also sought to buy a “more advanced model” that also destroys antivehicle mines, and on 20 May 2005 the first new Slovakian BOZENA-5 medium flail demining machine was delivered to Azerbaijan, funded by the EC and UNDP.[23 ] In June 2005, the Marshall Legacy Institute in the US donated six mine detection dogs to ANAMA.[24 ] The value of the donation is estimated at more than $100,000.[25 ]

UNDP, having invested in the capacity-building of ANAMA since its creation, has gradually reduced external technical support. In 2004, the only foreign expert remaining in ANAMA was the chief technical advisor. Since January 2005, ANAMA no longer receives technical assistance from UNDP, although it will continue periodic assessment missions to monitor the quality of ANAMA’s work.[26]

Efforts towards adoption of national mine action legislation did not progress during this reporting period, although it has existed in draft form since 2002.[27 ] Azerbaijan has had national mine action standards in place since 2002, which are said to be compliant with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). ANAMA reports that, “The organizations, equipment, training, drills and procedures and operations have been designed to achieve maximum safety. A Quality Assurance system is in place to maximize quality within the Azerbaijan Mine Action Program and to cover project components.”[28] All deminers are insured in Azerbaijan. In case of death, the sum payable is $24,000.[29 ]

The IMAS on mine risk education have not been translated or specifically applied in Azerbaijan, although aspects were incorporated in teaching manuals and textbooks for mine risk education in schools.[30 ] National standards have not yet been developed, although these are planned for 2005.

ANAMA is in charge of maintaining mine action information in the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), which includes the LIS results.[31 ]

ANAMA has working groups on mine victim assistance and mine risk education, which are said to include representatives of ministries, national NGOs and agencies such as UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).[32] Full meetings are infrequent. The most recent mine risk education meeting took place in January 2004,[33] and a victim assistance meeting was held on 19 April 2005.[34] ANAMA and UNDP jointly host annual meetings of the Mine Action Donor Group. These events provide information to donors and other stakeholders on the achievements of the year and present funding needs for the year ahead.[35]

On 29 September 2004, the South-Eastern Europe Mine Action Coordination Council (SEEMACC) met in Baku. Participants included 11 representatives from SEEMACC member states, as well as diplomatic missions and organizations that contribute to mine action in Azerbaijan, including Italy, United Kingdom, United States, UNDP and UNICEF.[36 ]

Survey and Assessment

Technical surveying is ongoing in 2004 and 2005, in order to verify and reduce suspected areas. From January 2004, there were two five-member technical survey teams working under Relief Azerbaijan (Dayag), a local NGO. Survey teams supported by mine detection dogs were deployed to Fizuli, Khanlar, Aghjabedi and Ter-Ter districts, for area reduction and to define the size of minefields. In October 2004, a further five-member technical survey team was fielded under IEPF, funded directly by Japan, after training by ANAMA.[37]

A Landmine Impact Survey of most of the areas under Azeri government control was conducted in 2002-2003.[38 ]

Mine and ERW Clearance

In 2004, a total of 2,434,656 square meters of mined areas was demined, including 775,072 square meters manually cleared, 936,056 square meters cleared by mine detection dog operations, 291,167 square meters mechanically reduced, and 432,361 square meters reduced by technical survey. In the process, 1,629 mines and UXO were found and destroyed. A further 4,789,993 square meters of UXO-contaminated areas was cleared and area-reduced.[39 ]

Comparison with 2003 is made uncertain by varying data reported for clearance in 2003.[40 ] However, ANAMA reported that technical survey was carried out on a substantially larger area in 2004 than in 2003.[41]

As in previous years, clearance operations were carried out by two national NGOs, Relief Azerbaijan and IEPF, contracted by ANAMA. Clearance operations took place in Fizuli, Khanlar, Ter-Ter, Aghjabedi and Aghstafa regions.[42 ] Operations were suspended in November 2004 on territory close to Aghstafa region due to weather conditions, and work had not restarted as of August 2005.[43 ]

Relief Azerbaijan (Dayag) has a 38-member demining team, supported by mine detection dogs, operating mostly in Fizuli and Aghjabedi districts. Three sections have been deployed to Giyamadinli village of Aghjabedi district since July 2003. This district was included in the state priority list for reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas affected by the war. Clearance of the mined areas in Aghjabedi was requested by local authorities to free land for agriculture. An area of 538,698 square meters was cleared in 2004, destroying in the process a total of 45 mines and UXO.[44]

International Eurasia Press Fund has operated a 38-member demining team deployed to Gushgara village of Khanlar region since July 2002. IEPF’s main task is to clear antipersonnel mines from a minefield around a former Soviet military base, which ANAMA was instructed by the government to clear.[45 ] In this location, 1,018,669 square meters has been cleared between July 2002 and November 2004, destroying 207 mines and UXO.[46 ]

ANAMA’s new emergency response team was directed to ensure mine/UXO safety of 97 houses in Yukhary Kurdmakhmudlu village, Fizuli district, thereby enabling the Norwegian Refugee Council to undertake reconstruction and rehabilitation for internally displaced persons. All 97 houses in an area of 376,022 square meters were cleared, with 25 mines and UXO destroyed, by the end of 2004.[47 ]

Also in 2004, ANAMA’s 15-member UXO clearance team operated in Fizuli and Aghstafa regions. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Company requested the government to ensure safe construction and operation of the oil pipeline running through this region, an area of dense UXO concentration. ANAMA conducted clearance operations in several areas along the pipeline; 121 different types of ordnance up to three meters below the surface were found and destroyed. Almost 4.8 square kilometers of UXO-contaminated land was cleared and 1,400 UXO destroyed during 2004.[48]

A mechanical demining team, technically supported by a RONCO mechanical demining technical advisor, operated in mined areas around Horadiz settlement, Fizuli district; 291,167 square meters were reduced by the end of 2004.[49 ]

From January to June 2005, deminers manually cleared 2,149,711 square meters, mine detection dog operations cleared 878,140 square meters, and mechanical demining reduced 360,897 square meters of suspected area; six antipersonnel mines, 18 antivehicle mines and 113 UXO were destroyed.[50 ]

After mine clearance operations, about 10 percent of the territory is sampled for quality control by ANAMA personnel. If no explosive ordnance is found to a depth of 20 centimeters, the entire area is considered cleared. ANAMA uses dog teams both to find mines and to quality assure the cleared land.[51 ]

Mine Risk Education

Organizations involved in mine risk education (MRE) include ANAMA, Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society,[52 ]UNICEF, IEPF and Relief Azerbaijan.

ANAMA’s strategic focus for MRE during 2004 was on strengthening community-based initiatives, and also on integrating MRE effectively into schools. Training in community-based initiatives took place in August 2004 for volunteers from targeted frontline districts. These sought to establish community-based MRE committees in villages, with the heads of district civil defense teams as community coordinators. A group of 20 representatives from the seven frontline districts of Gazakh, Aghstafa, Tovuz, Gedebey, Dashkesen, Khanlar and Goranboy, with staff from IEPF and Relief Azerbaijan, participated in four days of training. Other districts will receive training when funding is available.[53 ]

Members of the community-based MRE committees include community leaders, heads of municipalities, teachers, doctors, youth group members and religious personnel. The committees are tasked with determining at-risk groups in their localities, and providing MRE with the aim of reducing mine and UXO casualties. In 2004, the committees provided training to over 27,000 people, including farmers, pastoralists and children.[54 ] Materials developed, tested and distributed to the community committees during 2004 included 6,000 posters, 1,500 exercise books, 2,000 pens and 2,500 stickers. The ANAMA MRE team, in coordination with the community committees, put up 82 billboards and 15 road signs in 54 mine- and UXO-contaminated villages.[55 ]

During 2004, 66 MRE committees were established in Ter-Ter (23), Aghdam (19) and Khanlar (24) districts.[56 ] An estimated 250 committees will be required to cover all mine-affected villages. These have been prioritized on the basis of LIS data and ongoing casualty information.[57]

On 11 May 2004 a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and ANAMA was signed, aimed at integrating MRE into the school curriculum in affected areas.[58 ] Schools near contaminated areas were identified based on LIS data. The initial target of 7,500 schoolchildren was increased to 15,000 to include children in the fourth and sixth grades.[59 ] A total of 600 teachers from 303 schools in 13 frontline districts were selected and trained. Supported by district education departments, 30 two-day training sessions were conducted by ANAMA and UNICEF trainers. Topics included details of different types of mines and UXO, safe behavior, possible dangerous places, official and unofficial mine warning signs, with material for teaching MRE including plays, dramas and interactive discussion topics. MRE in schools commenced in January; for 2005, there are plans to increase the number of schools to 1,000. A total of 15,000 children’s MRE textbooks and 700 teachers’ manuals were produced and distributed to 13 education departments. Each school was also supplied with four different posters.[60 ]

In December 2004, an ANAMA MRE specialist and staff from the Teachers’ Institute conducted a three-day training for 15 “master trainers” at the ANAMA Regional Training Center in Khanlar district.[61 ] These trainers will be responsible for continuing to train and refresh teachers in MRE education messages and techniques. In July and August 2004, the ANAMA MRE team conducted six training sessions for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline staff and other employees in Tovuz and Yevlakh camps. MRE sessions for the employees of the UN and international aid agencies in Azerbaijan were also undertaken.[62 ]

In 2004, ICRC opened discussions with the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society regarding a safe play area project for children to be implemented in 2005.[63 ] Fifteen safe-play areas will be constructed in eight mine-affected regions. The project is funded by the Norwegian Red Cross and aims to provide areas for children to play in without being exposed to danger from mines and UXO.[64]

Funding and Assistance

ANAMA reported that in 2004 mine action funding for Azerbaijan totaled approximately $3.5 million, including $255,000 from the government and $180,000 from UNDP.  Other donations reported by ANAMA were: EC ($1,350,000); Italy ($150,000); UK ($150,000); UNICEF ($70,000); US ($1,275,461).  In addition, Japan provided $81,697 for mine clearance in Ter-Ter.[65 ] This represents a decrease from $5.5 million funding reported by ANAMA for 2003.[66] 

From donor reports, Landmine Monitor estimates that Azerbaijan received international donations totaling $3,213,666 for mine action in 2004. This is a decrease from 2003, with estimated donations of $5.6 million. Donors in 2004 included:

  • International Trust Fund: $21,878 for a survey of mine survivors;[67 ]
  • Italy: €150,000 ($186,570) through UNDP for demining;[68 ]
  • Japan: ¥9,000,000 ($83,218) to UNMAS for mine clearance;[69]
  • UK: $150,000;[70]
  • US: $2,772,000, consisting of $2,468,000 from the State Department and $304,000 from the Department of Defense.[71]

The EC did not report funding for Azerbaijan; however, the UNDP Azerbaijan website reports that a mechanical demining machine funded by the EC, Italy and UNDP, which was acquired in 2004, cost over €300,000 ($373,140) including training.[72]

By April, mine action funding for 2005 had totaled over $3.5 million.[73 ] The Director of ANAMA reported that the government finances only 10 percent of its general budget.[74 ] In 2006, the US plans to provide a further $3.6 million.[75] However, ANAMA indicated that the US Department of State has warned that if the occupied lands are not liberated, its financial support will end in 2008.[76]

ANAMA reports that 25 square kilometers of a former Soviet ammunition storage facility near the village of Saloglu in the Aghstafa region are contaminated by 613 different types of ammunition and explosive ordnance.[77 ] Azerbaijan and NATO have developed a project to clear parts of the former storage facility and signed an agreement on 14 February 2005. Turkey is the lead nation and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) will provide project management and technical assistance. ANAMA EOD/deminers will do the clearance. The total cost for the 18-month project is €1.6 million ($2 million) to clear 5.7 square kilometers of highly contaminated area. To date, Turkey has contributed €170,000 ($211,000) and Azerbaijan committed €142,392 ($177,000).[78]

Landmine Casualties

In 2004, 32 new mine/UXO casualties from 17 incidents were recorded by ANAMA, including 13 people (three children) killed and 19 injured; all were male, and 15 were military personnel. Antipersonnel mines caused seven incidents, seven were caused by antivehicle mines and three were caused by UXO.[79 ] This represents an increase from the 28 new mine/UXO casualties (14 killed and 14 injured) recorded by ANAMA in 2003.[80 ]

The AzCBL reports 43 new mine/UXO casualties in 2004, including 15 people killed and 28 injured; at least 22 were military personnel and three were children. Casualties were reported in the regions of Absheron, Aghdam, Aghjabedi, Aghstafa, Fizuli, Goranboy, Gazakh, Ter-Ter and Nakhchivan Autonomy Republic.[81 ]

According to the Committee of Soldiers’ Families, there were 19 landmine casualties among members of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces from 1 January 2004 to 1 April 2005.[82 ]

Casualties continue to be reported in 2005. ANAMA reported that landmines/UXO killed one person and injured 21 others to 1 July 2005.[83 ] Casualties include an incident on 14 May, in which an F1 hand grenade exploded in a classroom in a school in Ganja city, killing one student and injuring 12 others.[84 ]

The AzCBL recorded 23 new mine/UXO casualties to 1 July 2005, including four people killed (one woman and two children) and 19 injured; at least 20 were civilians.[85 ]

ANAMA reported that no deminers were killed or injured during 2004.[86 ]

The total number of landmine casualties in Azerbaijan remains unclear. ANAMA has recorded more than 1,310 mine/UXO casualties, including 341 killed and 969 injured.[87 ] However, ANAMA reportedly estimates that there have been 3,000 mine/UXO casualties in Azerbaijan in 11 war-affected districts; about 1,300 people were killed.[88 ] The 2004 ANAMA Countrywide Mine/UXO Victim Needs Assessment Survey identified 1,883 mine survivors.[89 ]

There are also mine survivors in Azerbaijan from the war between the former USSR and Afghanistan, although the total number is not known.

Survivor Assistance

Medical and surgical facilities in Azerbaijan are believed to be adequate to treat mine casualties, with experienced physicians and ambulance services available. All medical and rehabilitation expenses for mine survivors and other persons with disabilities are covered by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (MOLASP).[90 ] In 2004, ICRC facilitated a planning seminar with MOLASP and other actors engaged in physical rehabilitation to develop a long-term strategy for the decentralization of rehabilitation services, and to establish a framework for future cooperation.[91]

ANAMA coordinates survivor assistance activities through its working group which includes representatives of relevant government ministries and organizations operating in Azerbaijan. The aim is to develop a long-term mine victim assistance program. ANAMA has a specialist to coordinate activities. The last meeting was held in April 2005.[92]

The government-run Baku Ahmedy Prosthetic and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center in Baku provides physical rehabilitation, prostheses, orthoses and other assistive devices, free of charge. In 2004, the center produced 1,659 prostheses; 287 amputees attended the center for the first time, including 18 landmine survivors.[93 ]

ICRC supports two government-run orthopedic centers in Nakhchivan and Ganja with technical advice and training for technicians. The Nakhchivan center reportedly lacks trained staff. In 2004, the centers provided rehabilitation services for more than 1,000 people, and produced 129 prostheses (two for mine survivors) and 915 orthoses (one for a mine survivor).[94 ]

The MOLASP-supported Rehabilitation Center of Invalids of the Republic in Baku provides medical and physical rehabilitation, diagnostics and psychosocial support. In 2004, about 42 of the 626 people referred to the center were mine survivors.[95 ] In 2004, the government opened a rehabilitation center in Sumgayit, and will open another center in Sheki city in 2005.[96 ]

From July to September 2005, UNICEF supported two summer camps for about 120 child mine survivors and children from mine-survivor families in Azerbaijan.[97]

On 1 June 2004, ANAMA in collaboration with the IEPF started a four-month countrywide needs assessment survey on mine survivors, with EC funding, to determine priorities for future mine survivor assistance projects. The survey covered 57 districts and seven cities. The survey questionnaire included questions from the IMSMA casualty report form, together with comprehensive questions on the needs of survivors in relation to medical and psychosocial care, physical and vocational rehabilitation, economic assistance and advocacy, as well as to education, training and sports. The survey collected detailed information on the needs of 1,883 mine survivors; 373 were civilians at the time of the incident. Of the total number of survivors, 1,397 (74 percent) are now unemployed; the majority of respondents (84 percent) are in need of money for medical treatment; 78 percent expressed an interest in a loan scheme to start their own business; 55 percent were interested in participating in survivor support groups. Other needs identified include: 33 percent of amputees are in need of prosthetic assistance; 129 survivors need wheelchairs; 48 percent of survivors expressed a need for psychological support; 53 percent of survivors want to undertake vocational training courses in computers, foreign languages, accountancy or other university degrees, to enhance their future employment opportunities.[98]

In April 2004, AzCBL completed a similar 13-month study in eight districts to identify the needs of mine survivors. The project was funded by a grant from the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance through Standing Tall Australia.[99 ]

In 2004, the Azerbaijan Landmine Victims Association (ALVA) was established to provide ongoing social support to landmine survivors. Future programs are dependent on donor funding.[100]

On 27 April 2005, the head of the ICRC office met with the Minister of Labor and Social Protection to discuss the possibility of disabled Chechen refugees receiving free rehabilitation assistance in Azerbaijan.[101 ] Following an official letter from ICRC to MOLASP in May 2005, it was agreed that Chechen mine survivors would receive free assistance in rehabilitation centers in Azerbaijan. During May, eight people from the Salam Chechen Invalids’ Organization underwent medical examinations at Baku Prosthetic and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center.[102]

One mine survivor from Azerbaijan participated in the Raising the Voices training in Geneva in February 2004, and attended the First Review Conference in Nairobi in November-December 2004; he is now head of ALVA with support from AzCBL.

Disability Policy and Practice

The 1997 Law on Prevention of Disability, Rehabilitation and Social Protection of Persons with Disability protects the rights of all persons with disabilities in Azerbaijan, including mine survivors.[103 ] The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare are responsible for issues relating to persons with disabilities.

Following the cancellation of many benefits in January 2002, the living conditions of persons with disabilities have reportedly deteriorated. As a consequence of the lack of support, in the past two years, at least 25 people disabled by the war have died and several have committed suicide.[104]

[1 ]“Azerbaijan and Ottawa Process,” statement delivered by Shirin Rzayeva, Public Relations Officer, ANAMA, Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 13 June 2005.

[2 ]Speech by Araz Azimov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, at ANAMA Donors Briefing, Baku, 7 April 2005.

[3 ]Speech by Nazim Ismayilov, Director, ANAMA, at ANAMA Donors Briefing, Baku, 7 April 2005.

[4 ]For example: Sabuhi Abbasov, “144 countries have joined the Mine Ban Treaty,” Yeni Azerbaijan, 21 May 2005; interview with Nazim Ismayilov, Director, ANAMA, Zerkalo (newspaper, in Russian), 15 May 2005; Vusala Rafigkizi, “Mines are cleaned,” Sherq (newspaper), 8 April 2005; L. Nuri, “Victims of exploded missiles and mines,” Echo (newspaper, in Russian), 8 April 2005; BBC Radio (Azeri language), 17 November 2004.

[5 ]Previously, Azerbaijan participated in Meetings of States Parties in 2000 and 2002, and in intersessional meetings in May 2002 and February 2004.

[6 ]AzCBL interview with Araz Azimov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baku, 7 April 2005. The commitment to vote in favor of the resolution in 2005 was reiterated at a meeting between Deputy Minister Azimov and an ICBL delegation in Baku on 20 May 2005.

[7 ]Meeting with Araz Azimov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baku, 20 May 2005. Five other states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty have submitted voluntary Article 7 reports.

[8 ]“Azerbaijan and Ottawa Process,” statement delivered by Shirin Rzayeva, Public Relations Officer, ANAMA, Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 13 June 2005.

[9] United Nations, “Countries stand united in the battle against landmines,” 4 November 2004, www.un.int/Angola/press_release_landmines.

[10 ]A recent example was a speech given by Araz Azimov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, ANAMA Donors Briefing, Baku, 7 April 2005.

[11 ]“Azerbaijan and Ottawa Process,” statement delivered by Shirin Rzayeva, Public Relations Officer, ANAMA, Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 13 June 2005.

[12] “Landmine Impact Survey: Republic of Azerbaijan,” SAC, Washington DC, December 2003, p. 6; see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 925.

[13 ]ANAMA Briefing for Donors, Baku, 7 April 2005; ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005.

[14 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Baku, 4 April 2005.

[15] UN, “Azerbaijan Country Profile,” www.mineaction.org, accessed 28 August 2005.

[16 ]Interview with Aziz Aliyev, Manager, Information Department, ANAMA, Baku, 14 April 2005.

[17 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, Director, ANAMA, Baku, 20 June 2005.

[18 ]Interview with Aziz Aliyev, ANAMA, Baku, 14 April 2005; ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 4.

[19 ]J. Ibrahimova, “The demining process continues,” Zerkalo, 15 December 2004.

[20] L. Nuri, “ANAMA plans clearance of occupied territories from mines,” Echo, 6 May 2005.

[21 ]J. Ibrahimova, “In a couple of days a mechanical demining vehicle will arrive in Azerbaijan,” Zerkalo, 10 July 2004; ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 4.

[22 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Azerbaijan (newspaper), 28 November 2004.

[23 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Nedelya (Russian-language newspaper), 6 August 2004; J. Ibrahimova, “In a couple of days mechanical demining car will arrive to Azerbaijan,” Zerkalo, 10 July 2004; email from Press Services of ANAMA to AzCBL, No. 44, 6 June 2005.

[24 ]M. Mamedov, “State Department is ready to increase financial assistance, directed on demining of Azerbaijan territories,” Zerkalo, 17 June 2005.

[25 ]“Yankee gifted us the dogs,” Realniy Azerbaijan (Russian-language newspaper), 17 June 2005.

[26] Email from Nazim Iamayilov, ANAMA, 30 August 2005.

[27 ]Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, “A Study of National Mine Action Legislation,” Geneva, 2004, www.gichd.ch.

[28] ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 9.

[29 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Baku, 20 June 2005.

[30 ]ANAMA website, www.anama.baku.az, accessed 18 July 2005.

[31 ]Telephone interview with Aziz Aliyev, ANAMA, 12 January 2004.

[32] Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Baku, 20 June 2005.

[33] Interview with Musa Jalalov, MRE Team Leader, ANAMA, Baku, 28 July 2005.

[34] ANAMA press release, “Mine Victim Assistance: Moving from the New Position,” 4 May 2005, www.anama.baku.az.

[35] Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Baku, 4 April 2005.

[36 ]E. Guoliyev, “To prevent the impact of landmines,” Echo, 30 September 2004; “An international event on the danger of mines was held,” Yeni Azerbaijan (newspaper), 1 October 2004; J. Ibrahimova, “Azerbaijan as a regional center on fighting the mine danger,” Zerkalo, 1 October 2004.

[37] ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 37.

[38 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 925.

[39 ]ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 4; email from Press Services of ANAMA to AzCBL, No. 36, 7 January 2005.

[40 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 927.

[41] ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 4.

[42 ]Telephone interview with Emil Hasanov, Operations Department Manager, ANAMA, 29 August 2005.

[43 ]ANS TV, 11 November 2004; interview with Emil Hasanov, ANAMA, Baku, 12 April 2005.

[44] ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 10.

[45 ]ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 10.

[46 ]Interview with Umud Mirzoyev, Chairman, IEPF, Baku, 19 April 2005.

[47 ]Interview with Emil Hasanov, ANAMA, Baku, 12 April 2005; ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005.

[48] Telephone interview with Emil Hasanov, ANAMA, 13 April 2005.

[49 ]ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005.

[50 ]Email from Press Services of ANAMA to AzCBL, No. 47, 5 July 2005; telephone interview with Shirin Rzayeva, Press Secretary, ANAMA, 6 July 2005.

[51 ]ANAMA, “Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation,” Baku, 2005, p. 14; telephone interview with Emil Hasanov, ANAMA, 23 July 2005.

[52 ]ICRC Special Report, “Mine Action 2004,” Geneva, June 2005, p. 31.

[53 ]Interview with Musa Jalalov, MRE Team Leader, ANAMA, Baku, 28 June 2005.

[54 ]Interview with Musa Jalalov, ANAMA, Baku, 28 June 2005.

[55 ]Email from Musa Jalalov, ANAMA, to AzCBL 14 April 2005.

[56 ]ANAMA website, www.anama.baku.az, accessed 18 July 2005.

[57] Interview with Musa Jalalov, ANAMA, Baku, 28 June 2005.

[58 ]L. Nuri, “ANAMA does not reflect the financial support to Nagorny Karabakh in its reports,” Zerkalo 12 May 2004; “The project referring to the mine security will be implemented on the front line districts,” 525-ci gazet, 12 May 2004.

[59 ]Interview with Musa Jalalov, ANAMA, Baku, 28 June 2005.

[60 ]Statement of Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, at the MVA Working Group meeting of ANAMA, 19 April 2005; Olaylar Information Agency, 12 April 2005.

[61 ]Interview with Musa Jalalov, ANAMA, Baku, 15 April 2005

[62 ]Emails from ANAMA to AzCBL, 7 September 2004 and 7 January 2005.

[63 ]ICRC Special Report, “Mine Action 2004,” Geneva, June 2005, pp. 31-32.

[64] Email from ICRC, Geneva, 21 September 2005.

[65 ]ANAMA Briefing for Donors, 7 April 2005; ANAMA, Mine/UXO Contamination and Areas of Clearance Operation, Baku, 2005; J. Ibrahimova, Ter-Ter in the anticipation of demining, Zerkalo, 3 September 2004.

[66] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 926.

[67 ]Email from Iztok Hocevar, Head of International Relations Department, International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF), 22 July 2005; ITF, “Annual Report 2004,” p. 57.

[68 ]Emails from Manfred Capozza, Humanitarian Demining Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy, June-July 2005; UNDP, “Funding Update by Donors,” www.undp.org/bcpr/mineaction/files/financing_mine_action, accessed 22 August 2005. Average exchange rate for 2004: €1 = $1.2438, used throughout this report. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2005.

[69] Email from Kitagawa Yasu, JCBL, 10 August 2005, based on Japanese language information sent to JCBL by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 May 2005. Average exchange rate for 2004: ¥108.15= $1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2005.

[70] UNDP, “Funding Update by Donors,”
www.undp.org/bcpr/mineaction/files/financing_mine_action, accessed 22 August 2005. UK did not report directly to Landmine Monitor mine action funding for Azerbaijan in 2004.

[71] USG Historical Chart including FY2004. Email from Angela L. Jeffries, Financial Management Specialist, US Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, 20 July 2005.

[72] “The Government of Azerbaijan, UNDP, EC and Italy support use of technology from Slovakia to increase mine clearance productivity,” Horadiz, 4 August, 2004. This item is not included in the Landmine Monitor estimate of total funding.

[73 ]ANAMA Briefing for Donors, 7 April 2005; interview with Aziz Aliyev, ANAMA, 14 April 2005

[74 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Azerbaijan (newspaper), 28 November 2004.

[75] Speech of Deborah Netland, US Department of State, during press conference held at ANAMA, 16 June 2005; “State Department is ready to increase financial assistance, directed on demining of Azerbaijan territories,” Zerkalo, 17 June 2005.

[76] Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Baku, 20 July 2005.

[77 ]While ANAMA refers to the problem in Saloglu as UXO, it is a large abandoned Soviet ammunition storage facility, most of it in the open air, which has experienced several explosions and ejections of ordnance over the past decade. The local population freely enters the facility to collect scrap. A total of 87 people have been injured and 28 killed in this area since 1991, the most recent being in May 2003. Ordnance from Saloglu has traveled as far as Baku; in June 2003, two men were injured in a scrap yard in Baku cutting open an artillery projectile.

[78] ANAMA, “UXO Problem in Agstafa Region, Short Photo information,” (undated), provided to Landmine Monitor in May 2005. Landmine Monitor also conducted a field visit to Saloglu in May 2005.

[79 ]ANAMA, “Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme,” documentation provided during interview with Aziz Aliyev, Manager, Information Department, and Rauf Mamedov, Mine Victim Assistance Specialist, ANAMA, Baku, 29 April 2005.

[80 ]For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 928-929.

[81 ]J. Bayramova, “Last year 43 persons became mine victims,” Zerkalo, 7 January 2005.

[82 ]Interview with Rosa Aligizi, Chairwoman, Committee of Soldiers’ Families, Baku, 21 April 2005.

[83 ]ANAMA, “Monthly Report for June 2005”; email to AzCBL from ANAMA Press Services No. 47, 5 July 2005.

[84 ]“The Prosecutor Office of the Republic has disseminated information regarding the explosion, which took place in Secondary School # 36 of Ganja,” 525-ci gazet, 17 May 2005; Ekspress, 17 May 2005.

[85 ]“23 people were exploded on a mine,” Information Agency Olaylar, 2 July 2005; Yasaman, “23 people became mine victims,” Uc noqta (newspaper), 2 July 2005; R. Suleymanov, “During 6 months period 23 people suffered from mines,” 525-ci gazet, 2 July 2005.

[86 ] Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, Director, ANAMA, Baku, 19 April 2005.

[87 ]ANAMA, “Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme,” documentation provided during interview with Aziz Aliyev and Rauf Mamedov, ANAMA, Baku, 29 April 2005.

[88 ]Interview with Nazim Ismayilov, ANAMA, Baku, 28 November 2004; for more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 929.

[89 ]ANAMA, “Azerbaijan Mine Victim Needs Assessment Survey Report,” 6 May 2005, p. 1, www.anama.baku.az/pictures/mva/mva_report-ec-2004.pdf.

[90 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 930.

[91] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Program, “Annual Report 2004,” Geneva, July 2005, p. 34.

[92] “Mine Victim Assistance: Moving from the New Position,” ANAMA press release, 4 May 2005; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 931.

[93 ]Interview with Ilgar K. Abdullayev, Director, Baku Prosthetic and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center, Baku, 20 April 2005.

[94 ]ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Program, “Annual Report 2004,” Geneva, July 2005, pp. 34, 44.

[95 ]Interview with Malahat Nahmatova, Assistant Head Physician, Rehabilitation Center of Invalids of the Republic, Baku, 20 April 2005; for more information, see also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 931.

[96 ]Interview with Ali Nagiyev, Minister of Labor and Social Protection, reported in State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (AzerTAC), 29 January 2005.

[97] “UNICEF Supports Summer Camps for War-Affected Children,” ANAMA press release, 29 July 2005.

[98] For full details of the survey see ANAMA, “Azerbaijan Mine Victim Needs Assessment Survey Report,” 6 May 2005, www.anama.baku.az/pictures/mva/mva_report-ec-2004.pdf.

[99 ]For details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 931. The total budget for the study was $21,878, paid in installments from ITF over 2003 and 2004. Email from Sheree Bailey, Standing Tall Australia, 15 September 2005.

[100] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 932.

[101 ]Interview with Tahir Budagov, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Azerbaijan Republic, by Landmine Monitor researchers (Azerbaijan and Chechnya) and Victim Assistance Research Coordinator, Baku, 28 April 2005.

[102] Telephone interview with Imran Agayev, ICRC, Baku, 3 June 2005.

[103 ]For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 860.

[104] Interview with Rizvan Veliyev, Deputy Chairman, Karabakh Invalids’ Society, reported in 525-ci gazet, 14 April 2005.