Preparations are underway for the launch of the 2022 regional campaign Landmine Free South Caucasus. This year's campaign is expected to focus on the consequences of landmines and other remnants of war on communities in the region.
In the aftermath of the 2020 war Second Karabakh War many residents of Nagorno-Karabakh returned to find their homes badly damaged by artillery shells, unexploded cluster munitions, and debris from other weaponry scattered across their yards.
Stepanakert, the main Armenian-populated centre in Nagorno-Karabakh was one of the most affected areas. According to demining agencies working in the territory, such as HALO Trust, more than 20% of the city was contaminated with unexploded items left over from the war. They tell their story:
The Azerbaijani Campaign to Ban Landmines has been in existence for nearly twenty five years, and has implemented many actions in support of banning landmines. South Caucasus Landmine Observer interviewed Hafiz Safikhanov, Director of the Azerbaijan Campaign to ban Landmines, about the work of his organisation and the serious landmine problem in Azerbaijan:
The HALO Georgia programme has begun non-technical survey (NTS) of two of the five remaining known minefields in Tbilisi Administered Territory (TAT), at Khojali (Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region) and Kadoeti (Mtskheta-Mtianeti region). Located near to the administrative boundary lines with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, these dangerous areas are legacies of armed conflicts in the South Caucasus during the 1990s and early 2000s and have caused multiple human and animal accidents over the decades.