2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Tajikistan

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Date: 2015 Description: An OSCE humanitarian demining team, supported by PM/WRA, conducts pre-deployment reconnaissance of a minefield in southern Tajikistan. © Photo courtesy of OSCE.

Tajikistan’s landmine legacy largely stems from Russian defenses to prevent border crossings by Afghan militants and narcotics traffickers. Landmines and UXO from the 1992–1997 civil war also impede the socioeconomic development of Tajikistan’s central Rasht Valley Region and limit access to valuable agricultural land. Uzbekistan has emplaced mines along Tajikistan’s northern and western borders, some of which have spilled into non-delimited border areas. Furthermore, as a result of years of regional conflict and a porous border with Afghanistan, Tajikistan has amassed large quantities of SA/LW and munitions that are poorly secured and threaten both national and regional security.

From FY2004 through FY2014, the United States invested more than $14.8 million in funding to Tajikistan to support landmine and UXO clearance operations, destruction of excess and aging munitions, PSSM of SA/LW, victim assistance, and national capacity building of the Tajikistan National Mine Action Center (TNMAC). Significant progress has been made in restoring access to land and infrastructure, protecting the return of internally displaced persons, and assisting persons with disabilities. In FY2014, the U.S. government contributed more than $3.2 million to CWD in Tajikistan.

The Department of State funded the following implementing partners:

• FSD continued CWD activities, non-technical survey, and clearance of UXO through the deployment of one multi-purpose demining team, and one weapons and munitions destruction and assessment team.

• NPA established and deployed the first and only female, multi-purpose demining team in Central Asia along the Tajik-Afghan border. They also continued clearance using one other multi-purpose demining team along the Tajik-Afghan border.

• OSCE continued development of national humanitarian demining capacities and supported their operational deployment along the Tajik-Afghan border. OSCE also continued work on the Integrated Cooperation on Explosive Hazards program with emphasis on sharing regional lessons learned to develop a regional database and establish a regional response capability to mitigate and counter explosive hazards.

• UNDP supported TNMAC in developing host-nation capacity with the IMSMA database, victim assistance, and accessibility projects that include psychosocial therapy and vocational rehabilitation, demining training accreditation, project development, and operational management skills development.

The Department of Defense funded U.S. Army Central Command and the Embassy’s Office of Military Cooperation, in conjunction with the OSCE, initiated a train-the-trainer program in Tajikistan to improve the internal capacity of Tajikistan’s humanitarian mine action training center. Military EOD personnel trained a unit of instructors on UXO disposal including demining and first-responder medical training with an emphasis on blast-trauma injuries. The OHDACA appropriation funded humanitarian supplies, equipment, services, and mine action activities.

USAID’s Leahy War Victims Fund continued to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to strengthen Tajikistan’s prosthetic and orthotic sector as well as its community-based rehabilitation services.