No:147/24, Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 4 April - International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

4 April is observed the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.


The Republic of Azerbaijan that suffered from the landmine threat and has many landmine victims both throughout 30-year-long military occupation of its territories by Armenia, as well as during post-conflict period, emphasizes the importance of seriously addressing the landmine threat.


Ongoing landmine menace by Armenia even in the post-conflict period, remains a source of enormous danger to the lives and health of our citizens, along with impeding the restoration and reconstruction works in the region and the return of former IDPs to their lands.


Even after the end of the 44-day Patriotic War and the conflict, Armenia, contrary to its obligations, misused the Lachin road for illegal purposes, including the continuation of the landmine threat. This fact was confirmed in 2022 when more than 2,700 anti-personnel landmines produced in Armenia in 2021 were revealed in the Lachin and Kalbajar regions. Following counter-terrorism measures in September 2023, findings about more than 500,000 landmines had been planted in the Azerbaijani territories where Russian peacekeeping contingent were temporarily deployed and along the perimeters of these territories, are among the proofs that demonstrate the scale of this threat. At the same time, it has proved that the statements about the alleged non-production and non-export of landmines by Armenia during the last decades were completely unfounded.


Throughout the post-conflict period a total of 350 Azerbaijanis became landmine victims in the explosions which happen almost on a daily basis as a result of Armenia’s ongoing landmine threat. Among them 65 persons lost their lives, including 50 civilians and 15 military personnel.


Geography of landmine cases that have occurred so far, the fact that majority of them have taken place outside the former contact line, particularly in places where civilian facilities, residential areas, as well as cemeteries are located, proves that Armenia’s landmine threat has been purposefully aimed at high casualties among the civilian population. This, in turn, is yet another manifestation of the existing ethnic hatred and intolerance of Armenia against Azerbaijanis.


Despite our country’s repeated calls on Armenia to provide landmine maps in order to put an end to this threat, this country has at all denied the existence of such maps for a long time. However, the reliability of the information, which was presented as a result of pressure from the international community, covering a small part of the landmine planted areas, was only 25%. More than 55% of recent landmine cases have occurred outside the areas covered by the information provided.


The behavior displayed by Armenia in relation to the landmine threat is yet another setback to the peace and confidence-building measures taken during the post-conflict period in the region.


On 4 April - International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Azerbaijan once again calls on the international community to take consistent measures for condemning the landmine threat of Armenia, providing landmine maps by this country, as well as rendering support to elimination of the landmine threat in Azerbaijan.

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