In Post-Conflict Period, 350 Azerbaijanis Become Landmine Victims - MFA

(MENAFN- AzerNews) April 4 is celebrated as the International Day of Mine Awarenessand Assistance for Mine Action.

During the nearly 30-year military occupation of the territoriesof the Republic of Azerbaijan by Armenia, as well as in the currentpost-conflict period, Azerbaijan, which suffered from the threat oflandmines and gave numerous landmine victims, emphasizes theimportance of seriously fighting the threat of landmines, Azernews reports, citing the Foreign Ministry.

The Ministry pointed out that the threat of landmines continuedby Armenia even in the post-conflict period slows down therestoration and reconstruction works in the region and the returnof former IDPs to their lands, and remains a source of seriousdanger to the lives and health of Azerbaijanis.

"Even after the end of the 44-day Patriotic War and the end ofthe conflict, Armenia used the Lachin road for illegal purposes,including the continuation of the mine threat, contrary to itsobligations. The discovery of more than 2,700 Armenian-madeanti-personnel mines in 2022 in the territory of Lachin andKalbajar districts confirms this fact. In September 2023, after theanti-terrorist measures, the discovery of the fact that more than500,000 landmines were buried in the territories of Azerbaijanwhere Russian peacekeeping forces were temporarily deployed andalong the perimeters of these territories are facts that prove theextent of this threat. At the same time, it has shown that thestatements about the alleged non-production and export of mines byArmenia during the last decades have no basis.

A total of 350 Azerbaijani people became mine victims in thepost-conflict period during the mine explosions that occurredalmost daily as a result of the mine threat continued by Armenia them, 50 civilians and 15 military personnel, 65 peopledied.

The geography of mine incidents that have occurred so far, andthe fact that most of them have occurred outside the former contactline, especially in places where civilian objects, residentialareas, as well as cemeteries are located, proves that Armenia'smine threat is purposefully aimed at high casualties among thecivilian population. This, in turn, is the next manifestation ofthe existing ethnic hatred and intolerance on the part of Armeniaagainst Azerbaijanis.

Despite repeated calls for Armenia to provide maps of minedareas to end this threat, this country has generally denied theexistence of such maps for a long time. The reliability of theinformation presented as a result of pressure from theinternational community, covering a small part of the mined areas,was only 25%. More than 55% of recent mine incidents occurredoutside the areas covered by the data provided.

The behavior exhibited by Armenia in relation to the mine threatis another blow to the measures taken in the direction ofsustainable peace and confidence building in the region in thepost-conflict period.

On April 4 - the International Day of Mine Awareness andAssistance for Mine Action, Azerbaijan once again calls on theinternational community to take consistent measures to condemn themine threat of Armenia, to present mine maps by this country, andto support the elimination of the mine threat in Azerbaijan," theMinistry added.


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