Press
@ITF_fund: We thank one of our greatest friends Amb @SeanOReganIRL @IrlEmbLjubljana for his contirbution to ITF and wish him a… https://t.co/9VyW81k3vk
@ITF_fund: ITF se iskreno zahvaljuje VP Grmeku @SLOinBIH za nepogrešljivo pomoč pri delovanju ITF v #BiH in mu želi uspešno na… https://t.co/lCEr3IaWOm
@ITF_fund: Broadening our knowledge on ammunition effects on the #environment in Bucharest, #Romania, organised by #STO @NATO https://t.co/dV54QIEMdi
@ITF_fund: ITF is advancing with a project in #Colombia w/ @theGICHD helping @daicma establish a team of Quality Managers… https://t.co/CFgcwdSqFy
@ITF_fund: We are expanding our activities in #Albania! Albanian MoD and ITF signed an agreement on conventional weapons destr… https://t.co/34lGGKedfR
@ITF_fund: Any guesses what we are up to this time? First glimpse coming in a week or two. https://t.co/6AXF69hGxx
@ITF_fund: Presenting the final report of a project enabling scholarships for 23 landmine/UXO victims in #BIH to H. E. Esen Al… https://t.co/nIMkGcBGk2

Macedonia

Contact

Mr Mitja Hegler
Project Manager
T: +386 1 479 65 91
E: mitja.hegler@itf.si

Problem Statement

The mine/UXO (unexploded ordnance) problem in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Macedonia) has been a legacy of the conflict in 2001 between the Macedonian government forces and ethnic-Albanian insurgents, and the two World Wars. The 2001 conflict affected especially north-western areas bordering Kosovo* and Albania, while areas in the south of the country are contaminated by UXO from World Wars I and II. At the start of ITF activities in 2001, approximately 21 sq. kilometers of land was mine suspected and there was no national mine action capacity available.

With international support, including ITF, Macedonia fulfilled its obligations of Article 5 of Ottawa convention in September 2006 and thus achieved the status of mine-free country, but the problem of UXO, mostly from both World Wars, still remains predominately in southern part totaling around 8.5 sq. kilometers. The UXO contamination does represent an extensive problem, especially when coinciding with natural disasters such as extensive fires, and requires permanent national capacity. There is also severe underwater UXO contamination in Macedonian waters, including Lake Ohrid that is declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

What we do

ITF has been supporting Macedonian Mine Action program since September 2001 when 21 sq. kilometers of land was considered as mine suspected and no national mine action capacities were available. ITF assistance helped train, equip and support Macedonian deminers and altogether close to 4.5 million sq. meters of land were cleared with 22 mines and 762 UXO found and destroyed.

In addition to mine clearance, ITF supported rehabilitation of 7 mine victims in Slovenia and supported enrolment of one student on a Prosthetics and Orthotics study program at the College for Health Studies, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Since 2006, ITF has been supporting Macedonia in tackling the challenging problem of underwater UXO contamination of Lake Ohrid, declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. ITF support enabled establishment of Macedonian clearance capacity which can be deployed when and where needed, including underwater operations. Until today, ITF supported three underwater UXO clearance phases of Lake Ohrid, where 26.400 sq. meters of lake bottom were cleared using underwater metal detectors and additional 30.500 sq. meters using visual method of detection. Altogether over 6,600 UXO weighing more than 19.6 tons were safely removed and destroyed.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.