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Diplomacy in Action

Europe


To Walk the Earth in Safety: The United States Commitment to Humanitarian Demining
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
September 2002
Report
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Flag of AlbaniaAlbania

 


The Landmine Problem

The Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMAE), the demining coordination agency of the Government of Albania, estimates that mines placed by Serb and Kosovar Albanian forces before and during the Kosovo conflict affect almost 14,000,000 meters2 of land. Some 36 kilometers in the Kuski and Hasi Districts appear to have been mined within 300-400 meters of the border with Kosovo, and 18 of 24 kilometers of the country's border territory in the Troopja District are suspected of mine contamination. In addition, reports indicate that mines are located in the Barjam Curri District on the border with Montenegro, and other unrecorded minefields were emplaced in border regions during the Cold War by past regimes. Presently, there is no way to assess accurately the quantity of landmines in these respective areas. UXO is also a problem as a result of the NATO bombing campaign in the spring of 1999. The Government of Albania also includes in its UXO problem some 13 "hot spots," former military ammunition storage depots, but the quantities of UXO are also unknown. Since the beginning of 1999, landmines and UXO have inflicted at least 225 casualties, with more than 20 victims dying from their wounds.

United States Assistance
The United States provides demining assistance to Albania through the ITF. Since the inception of the program in FY00, the United States has given $1,733,000 to support mine action. Approximately $1,000,000 in FY00 and $700,000 in FY01 were dedicated to mine clearance. In FY02, nearly $300,000 was contributed to support mine-clearance efforts in partnership with a corresponding Swiss donation.

Accomplishments
Mine-awareness and mine-clearance programs are largely responsible for a sharp drop in landmine and UXO casualties. Demining operations commenced in early June 2000, with commercial demining teams from Bosnia working on AMAE-assigned priority demining tasks. In 2001, a Swiss demining NGO joined the Bosnian commercial mine-clearing teams. To date, more than 423,000 meters2 of land have been returned to safe use, 38 Albanian deminers have been trained and equipped, more than 2000 mines and UXO have been destroyed, and 30 mine victims have received assistance.

Flag of ArmeniaArmenia

 


The Landmine Problem

The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan during 1988-1994 is the primary source of Armenia's landmine problem. The Government of Armenia (GOA) estimates that between 80,000 and 100,000 mines are in its soil. This number includes active minefields along the line of contact in the sparsely populated Tavush region in the northeast that are still being maintained for defensive purposes. While the GOA has stressed that the most severe landmine problems are in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, problems also exist in the southeast, in the Syunik region along the now peaceful border between Armenia and Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory. This region, which includes the cities of Goris and Kapan, has suffered at least 40 to 50 civilian landmine-related deaths and injuries in the last seven years. According to the GOA, approximately 1,800 to 2,500 kilometers2 of land are known or suspected to be mine-affected. In addition, the GOA suspects that there is UXO along border areas, in and around villages, in agricultural areas and pastures, along roads and near bridges, and in forests.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided $2,720,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to Armenia to fund a U.S. contractor, RONCO Consulting Corporation, to train the newly established Armenian Humanitarian Demining Center (AHDC) in the operation and management of a national humanitarian demining program. The funds provided for training and equipping the first demining company, medical technicians, an MDD section, and effectively integrating the MDDs into survey and clearance operations.

The GOA has expressed a firm commitment to address the landmine problem and to maintain an effective organization capable of implementing national demining policy and priorities. As a result of this commitment, the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan provided $1,800,000 of its Freedom Support Act (FSA) funds that will be used to augment the existing demining program, assist the GOA to establish a National Demining Training Center, and purchase a mechanical vegetation removal/area reduction system. During FY02, U.S. military personnel trained and equipped a second demining company and medical section, and provided advanced training in management, mine awareness, and information management. In FY02, 178 deminers, medics, MDD handlers and staff personnel were trained and equipped.

In FY01, Armenia received $850,000 in humanitarian demining assistance from the United States. The funds helped the GOA renovate facilities, train its National MAC staff, and develop mine awareness, information management, and Landmine Impact Survey, Technical Survey, and Level III Survey capabilities.

Accomplishments
The construction of the AHDC was completed, and it is now open for training. The Center has generated valuable local and national publicity for the program. Training includes mine awareness, information management, area reduction, and special courses of instruction for survey personnel. The kennels for the indigenous MDD capability have been completed and training has begun.

Flag of AzerbaijanAzerbaijan

 

The Landmine Problem
The conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in 1988-1994, and other Azerbaijani land that Armenian troops held, left Azerbaijan with a landmine and a UXO problem. The UN estimates that landmines and UXO affect 604 kilometers2 of liberated Azerbaijani land in 64 villages within 11 affected districts. Although no accurate estimate of the total number of landmines is available, the ICRC believes that there are 50,000 mines just in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. A ceasefire has been maintained since 1994, although Armenia continues to occupy 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory. The Government of Azerbaijan has decided that the IDPs from Fizuli and Agdam, which Azerbaijan reclaimed shortly before the ceasefire, should return home. Many of the 800,000 IDPs have already returned, but they run the risk of injury, primarily from UXO; the landmine threat is secondary. Yet landmine contamination seriously constrains the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of the Government and international agencies. The Director of the Azerbaijan Agency for National Mine Action (ANAMA) has stated that landmines have caused 1,400 casualties to soldiers and civilians, including 300 fatalities, since 1998. In the region of Fizuli, an area of 600 kilometers2, some 145 mine- and UXO-related accidents have been recorded.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided $3,330,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to Azerbaijan to fund a U.S. contractor, RONCO Consulting Corporation, to assist the Government to establish a national mine-action capacity, including a national MDDs capability within the ANAMA infrastructure. The funds provided for maintaining the current operational capacity of Relief Azerbaijan, the national demining NGO, training and deploying a new survey team, an EOD team, developing and deploying the national Monitoring and Training Team, and integrating the MDDs with survey and clearance operations. The DoD conducted demining and EOD training for Azeri military personnel.

The Government has expressed a firm commitment to address the landmine problem and to maintain an effective organization capable of implementing national demining policy and priorities. As a result of this commitment, the U.S. Embassy in Baku provided $1,100,000 of its FSA funds to augment the existing demining program. During FY02, U.S. military personnel trained 55 deminers in four major subjects: basic demining, management training, basic medical skills, and mine-risk education for the general population. At the completion of the training, the U.S. military team left behind $400,000 worth of demining equipment to be used by the trained personnel. In FY02, a total of 100 deminers, medics, MDD handlers, and staff personnel were trained and equipped. Deminers have cleared more than 775,000 meters2 of land in the Fizuli and Geranboy regions, and destroyed 45 mines and almost 1,000 pieces of UXO in the process.

In FY01, Azerbaijan received $1,100,000 in U.S. assistance, including $600,000 for an expatriate MDD capability; $250,000 for additional demining equipment; and $250,000 to establish an indigenous MDD capability organic to the ANAMA.

Accomplishments
A Landmine Impact Survey has been conducted. An MDD program has also been established, and training for this program continues successfully. U.S. assistance has funded the training of more than 100 Azerbaijani deminers and, in conjunction with UNICEF, a program of mine-awareness instruction for 800 teachers, 500 medical personnel, and 200 representatives from public organizations. ANAMA is currently developing all components of mine action in order to acquire a national, sustainable capability for humanitarian demining that includes an infrastructure to support the return of IDPs to their homes. The Regional Training Center at Fizuli is operational and is being used to expand national demining. In 2002, U.S.-trained mine-clearing personnel focused on clearing those areas with wineries, a move that is expected to help Azerbaijan restore its war-torn economy. To date, Azerbaijani deminers have cleared more than 981,000 meters2 of land and destroyed more than 1,300 mines and UXO.

Flag of Bosnia-HerzegovinaBosnia-Herzegovina

 

The Landmine Problem
Bosnia-Herzegovina has a substantial landmine problem, the result of the five-year civil war that broke apart Yugoslavia. Although the Bosnia-Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) has records for more than 18,000 minefields with 307,000 mines, it believes that in excess of 600,000 mines and an undetermined quantity of UXO has contaminated an estimated 4,200 kilometers2 of land. Heavy concentrations of landmines are found in regions where ethnic conflict occurred, particularly along front-line areas that shifted during the course of the war, and along the Inter-Entity Boundary Line separating the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, the two constituent political entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Combatants mined road networks, power plants, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure components. Since the end of the war in 1995, landmines have killed 318 people, including 33 deminers, and injured another 945; 74 of these 945 were deminers.

United States Assistance
The United States has supported demining activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina since FY96, with total expenditures through FY02 amounting to more than $50,000,000, an investment larger than to any other mine-affected country. U.S. assistance focused primarily on Bosnian demining capacity during FY96-97 ($16,700,000), the establishment of the national MAC (initially under UN management), and the training and equipping of substantial civilian and military demining capabilities. During FY98-01, U.S. assistance totaling $28,600,000 funded clearance operations by international and local demining firms and NGOs. Initially, the United States used a combination of direct funding ($4,600,000) and the World Bank Demining Trust Fund ($2,700,000) to finance clearance projects. By the end of 1998, however, when the U.S. Congress established a separate fund for mine action in the Balkans, all funding shifted to the ITF.

In FY02, the United States provided approximately $5,000,000 to support mine action in Bosnian-Herzegovina. This includes some $3,200,000 for tenders by commercial and non-governmental demining organizations to support mine clearance and other related projects, and another $1,200,000 for victims' assistance initiatives. Other major U.S. projects for 2002 include the establishment of a regional MDD training center (to be funded from prior year funds), and a collaborative effort with the European Union and the ITF to fund a Landmine Impact Survey for the BHMAC. This survey, designed to assist Bosnian mine-action authorities in the prioritization of clearance tasks and the allocation of resources to accomplish them, will be conducted by the local demining NGOs trained and equipped by the United States during the 1996-97 timeframe.

Accomplishments
Initial assistance funded the establishment of a national MAC in Sarajevo under UN auspices, a mine-clearance training school at Brus, and three 80-man humanitarian demining groups based at Banja Luka, Tuzla, and Mostar. Each demining group was equipped with nine MDDs and a handler. These 27 dogs and their handlers represented the initiation of MDD technology in the Balkan region, and their highly successful use established the benchmark for future MDD programs elsewhere in the Balkans. The groups operated under local leadership trained and supervised by international humanitarian demining experts whom RONCO, a U.S. contractor, provided. Previous U.S-led and -supported efforts have created a large cadre of Bosnian civilian demining organizations and deminers, and ongoing efforts are improving the effectiveness of the Bosnian military in humanitarian demining. These efforts continue as an increasingly indigenous force grows, with only six international and NGO mine-action representatives remaining. Locally produced mine flails have been used and exported to other mine-affected countries. Also in 1996, the United States, DC Comics, and UNICEF collaborated to distribute a special edition of the Superman comic book devoted to mine awareness.

During March-June 1997, the United States, using RONCO-provided humanitarian demining trainers, conducted a training program, and provided necessary demining equipment for 450 military deminers representing the three Entity Armies. This military demining capacity was further augmented with U.S. assistance during late 1997-early 1998 when U.S. military personnel, in collaboration with the NATO Stabilization Force, established three Entity Army demining training centers and conducted a demining train-the-trainers course of instruction. The resulting 71-man Bosnian instructor cadre provided the Bosnian military establishment the ability to train its own demining teams and replacement personnel.

Other key accomplishments during the 1997-98 timeframe were clearance of nearly 2,000,000 meters2 of land and the destruction of more than 1,600 mines and 2,000 items of UXO by U.S.-funded demining groups; the provision of rehabilitation treatment to 33 mine victims at the Slovene National Rehabilitation Institute in Ljubljana (1998); a collaborative effort with the DoD R&D Program to test prototype demining technologies (1997); the turnover of ownership and control of the three civilian demining groups to Bosnian national demining authorities, including about $3,000,000 worth of equipment and 27 MDDs (May 1997); the conduct of joint venture demining operations involving international demining firms and the U.S.-trained and -equipped Bosnian demining groups (1997-98); and the accreditation by the BHMAC of mine clearance by Entity Army demining units, as accomplished in accordance with international humanitarian standards (July 1998). This last endeavor, in effect, doubled the combined Bosnian civilian/military humanitarian demining capability. Between 1999 and the end of 2001, U.S. and other donor ITF funding has helped to clear 134,368,616 meters2 of land and the removal or destruction of more than 20,000 landmines and UXO devices. The Government is now focusing on removing mines from high-threat areas. Other mine-action activities, such as mine awareness, surveying and marking hazardous areas, and prioritizing land needed for settlement or economic development complement the mine-clearance operations and contribute to reduction of casualties.

Flag of CroatiaCroatia

 


The Landmine Problem

Croatia has a serious landmine problem stemming from its 1991-1995 war with the Yugoslav Federation. An estimated 1,000,000 to 1,200,000 landmines and UXO affect almost a tenth of Croatian territory. The Croatian Mine Action Center (CROMAC) estimates that minefields cover a total of approximately 1,700 kilometers2 of land. The mine-affected areas run the length of the country, roughly paralleling the lines of confrontation between Croatian and Serbian forces during the war. From 1991 through December 2000, the Croatian Center for Demining recorded 1,320 landmine incidents that killed 365 and wounded 1,281 people with many of the wounded requiring amputations. Casualty estimates also indicate that mines and UXO killed nearly 300 children and injured even more. A mine-awareness program, begun in 1998, seems to be having a positive effect. There were 21 mine-related incidents in 2000, causing 12 deaths and 18 injuries; this represents a significant reduction from the 51 killed or injured during 1999. As of the end of March 2001, five mine incidents have been reported in which one person was killed and five others injured.

United States Assistance
Since 1998, the United States has provided $6,233,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to Croatia. The first U.S.-provided assistance ($600,000 in FY99) supported the Return Assistance Program through contracts awarded to local demining firms with the assistance of the UN Mine Action Center in Croatia. This U.S. policy initiative, designed to facilitate reconstruction, rehabilitation, and reconciliation efforts in Croatia, provided mine-clearance assistance to municipalities, thereby encouraging the return of ethnic minorities and other displaced persons. In late 1998, the U.S. Congress appropriated $28,000,000 to fund all mine action in the Balkans through matching donations to the ITF. Consequently, in FY00, the United States contributed $2,975,000 to demining in Croatia, followed by another $2,658,000 in FY01. Demining work funded by U.S. contributions was contracted by the ITF, in coordination with the CROMAC. In FY02, the United States expanded its support due largely to Government's self-help efforts. The Croatian government has deposited $3,200,000 in the ITF to support demining within its national territory, and the United States has matched that amount and earmarked the matching contribution to support mine-action projects in Croatia.

Accomplishments
Since 1999, the United States has funded demining projects in Croatia that have returned nearly 3,500,000 meters2 of land to safe use, and destroyed more than 800 mines and 300 items of UXO. The United States has also financed the development of a locally manufactured remote-controlled mini-mine flail vehicle and, in a funding partnership with U.S. winemakers, has earmarked donations to the ITF for the clearance of mines in wine-growing regions of Croatia. Both projects have significant economic as well as humanitarian benefits: the mini-flail has proved to be highly successful in Croatia, and it has potential for export to other mine-affected countries, while the clearance in the wine-growing sectors of Croatia is contributing to the rehabilitation of the Croatia wine-making industry. U.S. funds have supported a number of other projects tendered by the ITF, all of which are focused on economic and social development.

Flag of EstoniaEstonia

 


The Landmine Problem

Although Estonia's landmine and UXO problem dates back to World War I, the majority of UXO on the ground today date from World War II. In addition, caches of buried UXO are found on a routine basis during planned demining/excavations, as well as in newly constructed building projects both in the city and in the countryside. While it is difficult to estimate the exact number of landmines, Estonian authorities believe that the number of UXO is in the hundreds of thousands. Since 1992, the Government of Estonia has reported finding more than 27,500 pieces of UXO and landmines on its territory, mostly in the Narva region in the northeast, in the Voru region, and along the Emajogi River in the east-central Tatu region, where large battles occurred in 1944. An area of about 20 kilometers2 in the Narva region has a particularly heavy concentration. Through June 2002, UXO had already killed 46 people and wounded 148; three fatalities and nine injuries occurred in 2001.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States allocated $254,000 to the Government of Estonia to procure equipment and provide equipment familiarization. Estonia received $853,000 in humanitarian demining assistance in FY01.

Since FY99, Estonia has received almost $2,500,000 in U.S. humanitarian demining assistance. These funds have enabled the Government to establish an NDO to coordinate demining activities, develop a comprehensive mine-/UXO-awareness program, acquire modern demining equipment and protective clothing, and expand demining/UXO clearance operations to allow establishment of a training center in Tartu where U.S. military personnel conducted a train-the-trainer program. U.S military trainers have completed Phases I, II, and III of the train-the-trainer program, as well as Phase IV (which is the transition to DOS and host-nation advisory assistance). Twenty-seven U.S.-trained Estonian personnel are now competent to conduct meticulous, safe humanitarian demining in accordance with international standards.

Accomplishments
Beginning in 2000, the Government of Estonia's Self-Defense Board, an organization with experience in demining and now possessing modern equipment, training, and organization, has been conducting proactive, rather than reactive, landmine and UXO clearance operations. Since 1992, Estonia has cleared more than 45 miles2 of farmland, returning it to productive use, and destroyed nearly 27,500 pieces of UXO. In addition, with U.S. assistance, Estonia was able to complete UXO clearance of the Pakri Islands (18 miles2) and declare them safe for public recreation.

Flag of GeorgiaGeorgia

 


The Landmine Problem

The landmine and UXO problem in Georgia stems primarily from the conflict in the Abkhazia region of the country in 1992-1994. Ongoing partisan activity in some parts of Abkhazia also contributes to the problem. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Government of Georgia (GOG), between 20,000 and 70,000 mines are in the soil, contaminating approximately 18,500,000 meters2 of land in Abkhazia and 220,000 meters2 of land in the rest of the country. The majority of the mines are located in Abkhazia in northwestern Georgia. The remainder are in the South Ossetia/Tskivani region in north-central Georgia; the former Soviet ammunition storage facility in Osiauri in eastern Georgia (an estimated 2,000 mines); Kopitnari air base in western Georgia (an estimated 1,000 mines); Omal; Shenako; areas near Georgia's northern border with Chechnya; and parts of the Georgia-Armenia and Georgia-Azerbaijan borders. Many of these mines are located around former Soviet and present Russian military bases. Others are in minefields adjacent to or collocated with residential, agricultural, and grazing areas, posing a serious danger to both people and livestock. The GOG estimates there are approximately 15,000 items of UXO present, mainly in Orfilo in the Akhaltsikhe region in southern Georgia, and at the former Russian military base at Vaziani, under Georgian control as of July 1, 2001. Mines and UXO restrict the operations of aid agencies, hinder efforts to rebuild Georgia's shattered infrastructure, and undermine tourism, the former economic mainstay of the country. Since 1994, landmines and UXO have killed four military personnel and wounded 70 civilians; two military personnel and 208 civilians were also injured. A significant number of the dead and injured were children.

United States Assistance
The United States provided $1,100,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to Georgia in FY02, the bulk of it to continue support of HALO Trust's mine-clearance operations, the balance to purchase mine detectors, body armor, and vehicles. In FY01, Georgia received $1,000,000 in U.S. assistance to fund three manual mine-clearance teams for HALO Trust's mine-clearance operations in Ochamchire Province.

Accomplishments
In the fall of 2000, U.S. military personnel trained and equipped 45 Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani deminers in compliance with UN international humanitarian demining standards. The training also included emergency medical treatment and communications. Since beginning mine-clearance operations in Ochamchire Province in April 2001, HALO Trust has cleared more than 50,000 meters2 of land, and destroyed more than 140 landmines and more than 300 pieces of UXO. HALO Trust also conducted mine-awareness briefings to more than 9,000 people. Overall, since 1997, HALO Trust has cleared more than 3,900 mines and 2,500 pieces of UXO. The two new manual teams, one mine marking/EOD/survey team, one mine-awareness team, and continued support to the mechanical teams in 2001 are responsible for this increase in the deminers' productivity.

Flag of MacedoniaMacedonia

 


The Landmine Problem
Macedonia has a small landmine problem along its border with the province of Kosovo resulting from the 1999 conflict in Yugoslavia between Serbian military and police forces and Albanian Kosovar forces. Serbs planted the mines in this territory to block access to routes and forestall possible ground attacks by NATO forces in support of the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army. There are a number of known but unmarked minefields in the mountains along the border with Kosovo, but Macedonian border guards fear that additional landmines may exist in the area, posing a threat not only to their patrolling activities, but also to local civilians and their livestock. A more pressing problem with UXO exists as a consequence of a conflict in early 2001 between the Macedonian Army and indigenous Albanian guerrilla forces. The fighting had ceased by August, and in early September a combined team of representatives from the DOS, the ITF, and Macedonia conducted an assessment of the situation. The results of the contamination assessment confirmed that the main problem areas were concentrated in the north/northwestern regions of the country, and U.S. demining assistance to Macedonia commenced in October 2001.

United States Assistance
Since October 2001, the United States has provided $1,000,000 in demining assistance to Macedonia, with the assistance of the ITF. Almost $400,000 was expended to fund six Bosnian demining teams to conduct emergency clearance work. These teams were provided by the same demining NGO that had been created under the U.S. program in Bosnia during the 1996-97 timeframe. At the same time, The United States also made an in-kind contribution of demining equipment valued at approximately $500,000, consisting of vehicles, metal detectors, radios, medical gear, a computer, and other office equipment. In FY02, the United States provided $505,000 that was shared between Bosnian deminers who assumed a landmine/UXO clearance project and a train-and-equip program for Macedonian clearance teams.

Accomplishments
Through June of 2002, more than 3,300,000 meters2 of land have been returned to safe use, and 18.8 kilometers of railroad and 3,076 houses and other outbuildings have been cleared. The training of a Macedonian clearance cadre of more than 60 personnel, including 16 EOD specialists schooled at the EOD Center in Slovenia, was completed in July 2002.

Flag of MoldovaMoldova

 

The Landmine Problem
Moldova declared itself mine-safe in March 2001. Its landmine and UXO problem dated to World War II. The landmine problem escalated in 1992 during a civil war between Moldovans and Transnistrians (ethnic Russians), which created the Transnistrian Separatist Region located east of the Niestr River. The Joint Control Commission, with representatives from Moldova, the Transnistrians, and Russia, currently administers the disputed Transnister area with the Republic of Moldova. The UXO problem was countrywide. About 75-80 percent of the ordnance was from World War II battles that occurred throughout the country, while the remaining ordnance was from the 1992 civil war. Mined areas were limited to the Transnister region, encompassing approximately 850,000 meters2.

United States Assistance
Moldova received $71,000 in U.S. humanitarian demining assistance in FY99 to provide the Moldovan National Army (NAM) with the necessary modern metal detectors and personal protective equipment to conduct demining operations efficiently and safely.

Accomplishments
By the fall of 2000, NAM deminers had cleared the single remaining minefield in the country, restoring 210 acres of agricultural land for use as orchards, pastureland, and firewood gathering. Altogether, Moldovan deminers destroyed more than 2,100 landmines.

Flag of YugoslaviaYugoslavia

 


The Landmine Problem
Within Yugoslavia, the province of Kosovo has had a serious landmine and UXO problem as a result of its civil war with greater Serbia in 1999 and the subsequent NATO air strikes against Serbian military and internal security forces located in the province. The UN identified approximately 800 mine-affected areas and more than 300 UXO sites in the interior of the province and along the borders with Albania and Macedonia. According to the UN, UXO have killed at least 86 and injured 351 people.

United States Assistance
Since FY99, the United States has provided more than $13,900,000 in demining assistance to Kosovo through a variety of funding sources, including UNICEF and the ITF. In 1999, the United States provided slightly more than $2,600,000 in mine-action assistance, including mine-awareness education for Kosovar refugees prior to their return from camps in Albania and Macedonia to Kosovo, and emergency demining operations province-wide. The United States also funded UXO clearance operations, bringing in experienced technicians from Mozambique during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 demining seasons for this specialized task. These clearance teams focused primarily on dud-fired cluster bomb submunitions that posed the major threat to the civilian population. U.S. funding support of clearance efforts in Kosovo peaked at more than $9,300,000 in FY00. FY01 funding ($1,945,000) was dedicated to "mop-up" clearance tasks in preparation for the 2002 demining season with a shift in demining responsibility to indigenous clearance teams. The United States also has provided technical support to Serbia, which established an NDO in 2001.

Accomplishments
Landmine and UXO clearance operations included schools, houses, roads, agricultural areas, water pipelines, irrigation channels, and power lines, and a customs post for the UN on the Albania-Kosovo border. U.S. assistance also helped to equip the UN Mine Action Coordination Center and supported mine-awareness programs sponsored by UNICEF and other NGOs. These operations made life safer for the Kosovar population, and were particularly crucial in helping thousands of returning refugees prepare for the harsh living conditions during the winter of 1999 in this war-torn province.

Kosovo was declared mine-safe at the end of the 2001 demining season, and the task of eliminating the small residual threat was turned over to a local Kosovar demining force under UN supervision. U.S.-funded clearance teams were responsible for clearing almost 4,900,000 meters2 of land and destroying 54 mines and more than 4,600 cluster bomb submunitions and other UXO.



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