Tuesday, 18 February 2003

NEW PROJECT TO DEMINE TAJIKISTAN

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By empty (2/18/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)

The Tajik authorities have welcomed new efforts to help them rid their country of an estimated 16,000 landmines and unexploded ordinance. The European Security Organisation, the OSCE, is preparing a project to de-mine Tajikistan. Last year alone, 60 Tajiks were reported injured or killed by mines.
The Tajik authorities have welcomed new efforts to help them rid their country of an estimated 16,000 landmines and unexploded ordinance. The European Security Organisation, the OSCE, is preparing a project to de-mine Tajikistan. Last year alone, 60 Tajiks were reported injured or killed by mines. The mines are costing lives and having an economic impact. Tajikistan was the only Asian state to descend into civil war when the former Soviet Union collapsed. Although the fighting is over, the legacy of those years remains. Landmines and unexploded ordinance litter the mountains and plains where clashes took place. There are mines along the Tajik-Afghan border and also along the Tajik-Uzbek border. Local engineers say they have destroyed over 3,000 mines, but it is a massive task. Tajikistan is an impoverished country and lacks the funds to buy modern de-mining equipment and to train the necessary experts. Locating the mines is also a huge problem. Few maps are available, minefields are poorly marked, if at all, and some have now been moved by mudslides. Most mine victims are women, children and shepherds, injured or killed while collecting firewood of herding livestock. (AP)
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The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.

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