Activities of Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center’s mine action squad in Nis
Under the coordination of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center in Nis (Republic of Serbia), a humanitarian mine action group has been working since July 22, 2014 to survey and clear the areas of cluster munitions and aerial bombs left in the city area after bombing in 1999.
It is the third largest city in the republic, which is one of the largest industrial and commercial cities in southeastern Serbia. The area subject to demining amounts to 815 square meters and is located in the central part of the city, so, in order to ensure the safety of local residents, law enforcement units cordoned off the area , a medical vehicle and paramedics of the mine clearance unit are on standby near there. The unit has surveyed 420 square meters of the urban area in the first days.
Similar works have been ongoing since April 1 in Paracin located 170 kilometers south-east of Belgrade. An inter-service humanitarian mine action unit of the Russian Emergencies Ministry is working there under the coordination of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center. In July, manual demining groups have surveyed more than 27 thousand square meters, where they have found six explosive devices. While performing high complexity works, inter-service unit experts have surveyed over 316,000 square meters and have cleared 207 explosive devices.
Also, pursuant to orders of the Government of the Russian Federation, more than 138 tons of humanitarian aid has been delivered by a Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Il-76 in the Republic of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina in May this year.
Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center
The Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center was established on the basis of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Serbia on cooperation in the area of emergency humanitarian response, prevention of natural disasters and technological accidents and elimination of their consequences of October 20, 2009. The center officially opened on April 25, 2012.
The center is an intergovernmental nonprofit organization enjoying the rights of a legal entity, which may be entrusted with international coordination functions if other participants enter it. The center is jointly controlled by the Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
The center was created to develop the capabilities of humanitarian emergency response in Serbia and other countries of the Balkan region. The center and its branches are located at the airport of Nis, in the city of Nis and in agreed by the parties other parts of Serbia.
The center is entrusted with the following main functions: preparatory activities for the prevention and elimination of emergency situations; humanitarian assistance to populations affected by emergencies; implementation of projects and programs in the field of humanitarian demining; assistance to Serbia and the states of the region in extinguishing fires using aircraft; training, skills development and drills for specialists in the field of prevention and elimination of emergency situations; demonstrations and tests of modern fire and rescue and other equipment and technologies, exchange of experience and information in accordance with the objectives of the center.
Search and rescue and other units of the Center are stationed within national territories and are involved in joint operations in case of emergencies.
The humanitarian mine action squad is intended for mine clearance in Serbia and other countries in the region in the interests of public safety and return of facilities and areas in the economic cycle. As a joint Russian-Serbian unit, the squad has cleared and handed over the area of about 2.7 million square meters to the Serbian authorities, has found and disposed of more than two thousand various explosive devices. While planning and performing its work, the squad interacts with the Mine Action Center of Serbia.
Forces and resources that have been allocated to the Center are stationed within national territories and are on standby in readiness for redeployment to the airfield of Nis and implementation of tasks in the framework of joint emergency relief operations.
Forces and resources of the center can be involved in emergency relief operations in the territory of Serbia upon a request of the authorized body (Ministry of the Interior of Serbia), in the territory of other countries - in accordance with a regular procedure – upon a request of the government of the affected State.