2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Kyrgyzstan

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

As a former Soviet republic, Kyrgyzstan inherited massive stockpiles of conventional weapons and munitions that now pose a significant threat to civilians. These poorly secured and deteriorating weapons are stored in dilapidated national ammunition storage sites located near or within highly populated areas. The storage sites are in such disrepair that they provide only the minimum level of protection from adverse weather conditions. This increases the risks of explosion and decaying ammunition contaminating soil and water tables around these populated areas. Kyrgyzstan also has significant landmine contamination along its shared border with Uzbekistan. Though concerned with this humanitarian threat, Kyrgyzstan must contend with undefined borders and Uzbekistan’s reluctance to partner in their removal.

Date: 2015 Description: Part of stockpile destruction, members of the Kyrgyz armed forces dispose of 2,735 PMN unfused anti-personnel landmines during training with the ITF.  © Photo courtesy of ITF.

From FY2009 through FY2014, the United States provided more than $800,000 to assist Kyrgyzstan with the formation of national ammunition standards, EOD training, MANPADS destruction, and the restoration of existing explosive storage facilities. Significant progress has been made in segregating, securing, and destroying excess and unserviceable conventional munitions to prevent spontaneous explosions and injuries or displacement of civilian populations living near ammunition storage depots. In FY2014, the U.S. government contributed no additional funds for CWD to Kyrgyzstan.

The Department of State provided funding from FY2013 for the following implementing partners:

• ITF built and developed Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Defense PSSM capacity in the northern region of Kyrgyzstan near Bishkek. During the project, the Ministry of Defense destroyed 2,800 anti-personnel landmines from national stockpiles in demolition range operations.

• OSCE continued PSSM projects to upgrade and enhance the storage and maintenance capacity of Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Defense in the Koytash, Gulcha, and Buzhum regions.