2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Armenia

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Landmines originating from a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan from 1988 to 1994 remain entrenched in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Between 2012 and 2013, FSD partnered with the Armenia Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise (ACHDE) to conduct a non-technical survey, identifying more than 47 million square meters (more than 18.1 square miles) of contamination that impacts more than 40 communities. By the end of 2013, with the assistance of FSD, ACHDE drafted a set of National Mine Action Standards and developed a fully trained and equipped information management cell using IMSMA protocols.

Date: 2015 Description: HALO and Armenian Peace Keeping Forces clearing landmines near villages in Syunik, Armenia.  © Photo courtesy of the Department of State.

From FY1993 through FY2014, the United States invested more than $12.3 million in Armenia for CWD programs. In FY2014, the U.S. government contributed nearly $490,000 for CWD in Armenia.

The Department of State supported the work of the following implementing partners:

• FSD continued mentoring ACHDE staff to build and sustain their operational capacity in compliance with IMAS.

• HALO teams, using FY2013 funding, continued manual and mechanical clearance efforts resulting in the handover of Shurnukh minefields in eastern Armenia. HALO also trained members of the Armenian Peace Keeping Engineering Brigade, increasing local capacity for demining.

With Department of Defense funding, USEUCOM deployed military EOD personnel to conduct infrastructure development and landmine and UXO disposal training for Armenian mine-action agencies covering survey, marking, and mapping of landmine and UXO contaminated areas; landmine and UXO disposal; quality assurance and control; and medical first-responder training with emphasis on blast-trauma injuries. It also included program assessment visits to monitor and improve all aspects of the UXO disposal program. USEUCOM also funded the purchase of emergency medical equipment for an upcoming medical training event that is projected to evaluate nine Armenian medics in their instructional methods and will instruct 45 Armenian deminers in CASEVAC and self-aid/buddy aid. USEUCOM also funded IMSMA training for Armenian personnel. The OHDACA appropriation funded humanitarian mine-action activities, supplies, equipment, and services.