Azerbaijan among most mine-contaminated countries: UK expert
Azerbaijan is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world, David Denman, Technical Director at UK RPS Energy Ltd., said on Friday.
He made the remarks while speaking at a briefing held in connection with the recent deadly landmine explosion in Azerbaijan’s Tartar district, News.Az reports.
Denman said RPS Energy representatives arrived in Azerbaijan in 2021 at the invitation of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency (ANAMA).
“Our company is engaged in mine clearance in many countries, but I have not seen such a number of mines as in Azerbaijan anywhere else,” he said.
“I came here to study the process of clearing mines using RAMS (Remote Aerial Minefield Survey) technology. Over the years of cooperation, we have done a great job, achieved great success. However, despite all efforts, people in the territories of Azerbaijan are still dying from mines,” he noted.
“As you know, on April 28, people with whom we collaborated died in Tartar. It’s very hard for me to receive such bitter news every time, but I say with full confidence and hope that together with the ANAMA we’ll be able to ensure the safe return of civilians to these territories and accelerate the large-scale process of the ‘Great Return’," Denman added.
Founded in 1970, RPS is a leading global professional services firm of 5,000 consultants and service providers. Operating in 125 countries, it works across six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, resources, defense and government services.
Its services span twelve clusters: project and program management; design and development; water services; environment; advisory and management consulting; exploration and development; planning and approvals; health, safety and risk; oceans and coastal; laboratories; training and communication and creative services.
From 2021, ANAMA uses RAMS (Remote Aerial Minefield Survey) technology to investigate minefields in cooperation with the RPS Energy Ltd. Within the framework of this cooperation, 51,000 hectares of Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenian occupation were explored with the help of artificial intelligence.
On April 28, as a result of a mine explosion in Tartar, Nadir Yusifov, born in 1982, Sakhavat Gozalov, born in 1981 and Farid Sadiyev, born in 1996, who collaborated with RPS Energy Ltd., were killed.
Following the liberation of its lands from Armenian occupation in the 2020 second Karabakh war, Azerbaijan started carrying out operations on clearing its lands of mines, booby traps, and various weapons left behind by the Armenian troops.
Since the signing of the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020, a total of 299 people, including military personnel and civilians, have become victims of mines as a result of the explosion of mines laid by the Armenian armed forces, 55 of them were killed, and 244 people were injured of varying severity.