Powerline clearance in Azerbaijan

News and Press Release
Originally published
From 1988 through 1994, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people. A moving front line resulted in mass destruction of housing and infrastructure. The national Agency for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Areas (ARRA) is responsible for repatriating Internally Displaced People and has begun reconstruction and rehabilitation work in regions affected by the war. The threat of landmine and UXO contamination seriously hampers progress.
MAG supports Relief Azerbaijan, the national mine clearance NGO, co-ordinated by the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA). Since 2000, MAG has helped to support these mine action resources under contract with the UN Office for Project Services. We look forward to continuing to provide this assistance.

In mid March 2001, the teams began clearance that would mean that vital repairs could be made to the national power line that runs 30km through the Fizuli region to the town of Horadiz. Areas needed to be cleared where the line passes through former defensive positions previously occupied by both the Armenian and Azerbaijan Armies during the conflict. In co-ordination with the construction company, areas around the existing pylons were cleared to make it safe to carry out the repair work. Six OZM 72 Bounding Fragmentation Mines had been found by the end of the task on 25 June 2001; many dangerous anti-tank mine fuses and several items of UXO were also destroyed.

The construction company has already started replacing cables and damaged pylons; the de-miners are hopeful that they, who all live in the area, and all the other inhabitants will soon benefit from a more reliable supply of electricity.