Disposal of Albania's anti-personnel mines

  • 25 Jan. 2001 -
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  • Last updated: 03 Nov. 2008 19:31

A humanitarian assistance project to destroy, over the next 16 months, all of Albania's stockpiled anti-personnel mines has been put into place by a coalition of NATO and Partner countries. The landmines will begin to be destroyed in April by local personnel, trained by NATO's expert advisory team in Albania, under the direction of NATO's Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA).

The cost of the project has been substantially reduced because local experts, as opposed to outside experts, will be undertaking the work and a reverse engineering technique is being used to dismantle the mines, which will allow the recycling of valuable material. The overall cost of the project is US $790 000 -in effect, each mine will only cost 50c to be destroyed.

This project is the first to be initiated under NATO's Partnership for Peace Trust Fund on Anti-personnel Landmines Stockpile Destruction. Under the Trust Fund, NATO's Political Military Steering Committee is a clearing house where NATO and Partner countries can discuss potential projects and identify national sources of financial support. Each project requires a lead country which will take responsibility for the project, especially with regard to the organisation of funding. A number of contributing countries, along with the lead country, fund the project. In this case, Canada is leading the project and Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are the contributing countries. Hungary has provided funds that will pay for independent third party verification and quality assurance activities related to the project.