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International Day on Mine Action Awareness
The Republic of Tajikistan, celebrates the International Day on Mine Action Awareness with the support of the Government and the Tajikistan Mine Action Centre (TMAC). This Day is officially recognized and announced by the UN Assembly Resolution 60/97 from 18th of January 2006 as International Day on Mine Action Awareness and is celebrated by the World Community, especially in mine affected countries which signed the Ottawa convention.
Due to its international importance, this event is held each year in the Republic of Tajikistan since 2006, emphasizing the need for mine action. By supporting the world community on the prohibition of antipersonnel mines, Tajikistan implements its obligations under the Ottawa Convention and reports to UNDP.
With the support of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and UNDP, TMAC plans and conducts the event, which exhibits mine action projects of the current year, involving local and international collaborators of TMAC. The event takes place in the dog detection centre, which is located in the engineering battalion of the Ministry of Defense. Activities include demonstrations of manual demining brigades, specially trained demining dogs, an exhibition of equipment and techniques used in operational activities, education material and volunteer initiatives in the field of mine risk education as well as an exhibition of the achievements of mine victims in bee-keeping, handicraft and art.
The participation of members of the Commission on Implementation of Humanitarian International Law of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, representatives of the ministries, diplomatic corps, international and local organizations and journalists has been confirmed. In addition to the activities in Dushanbe, similar events are organized in the mine/UXO affected areas.
All TMAC activities are directed to reducing the hazard of the mines and UXOs throughout the country. Together with 156 other state-members of Ottawa Convention the Republic of Tajikistan undertakes a serious effort in mine action, supporting 834 mine victims and members of their families, conducting widespread mine risk education in 20 border districts and 5 districts of republican subordination.
Survey and mine clearance has been carried out in 42 hazardous areas of 6 republican districts in 2011, including the districts of Panj, Shuroobod, Shahritus and Kumsangir of Khatlon oblast, districts of Rushan and Darvaz of GBAO. From the beginning of the program 38 mined areas out of 87 areas have been cleared completely from mines, including ahandover to the local authorities for secure land utilization. Areas in Rushan districts of GBAO have been completely cleared from mine risk in 2011. In 2011, the groups were able to investigate and clear 2 081 547 square meters of hazardous land (Since the beginning of TMAC’s work in 2003, a total 8,040,396 м² have been cleared).
The risk of mines and UXOs inhibits farming, husbandry, wood collecting and other field work related to living conditions of local inhabitants and causes great economic harm. Since 1992 up 470 people were injured and 364 died as a result of accidents with mines and UXOs, out of which 30% are children.
Hence, organizing this event dedicated to the International Day on Mine Action Awareness shall raise the awareness of the world community and the population of our republic that all efforts are needed to rapidly work on a solution of the problems related to these dangerous remnants of the country’s civil war.