Kyrgyz Republic is suspected to be contaminated with mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW), although the precise location and extent of residual threat is not known. According to information available, contamination exists in Batken province bordering Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as a result of the conflict in 1999 and 2000. There was also an increase of improvised explosive device (IED) incidences in recent years, particularly in Batken and Osh provinces.
Unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) are a significant safety concern for governments and a major security challenge for the international community. The Small Arms Survey has documented 543 such incidents in 103 countries and territories in the period from 1979 to June 2016. Although there were no UEMS in Kyrgyz Republic, the CWD programs are crucial in deminishing the threat. This can be confirmed by eight UEMS that occurred in other former Soviet Union States in Central Asia (Kazakhstan – 5, Tajikistan – 1, Turkmenistan – 1 and Uzbekistan – 1) over the last 38 years.
Kyrgyz Republic is also affected by a substantial amount of obsolete ammunition left behind after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These stockpiles are not always properly stored, managed and secured, which directly endangers people’s lives as well as presents a serious threat for proliferation of illegal activities within Kyrgyz Republic and across borders. In order to diminish the threats, it is of utmost importance not only to improve the physical security of storage warehouses and stockpile management, but also to reduce the stockpiles of outdated, unserviceable and hazardous for storage ammunition in Kyrgyz Republic.
What we do
Since the first Protocol on Cooperation was signed with State Defence Committee in 2013, ITF supports enhancement of national capacities related to both intervention areas described above through the implementation of specialized trainings and procurement of equipment. Kyrgyz Republic also actively participates in regional events organized by ITF to address common concerns and challenges stemming from explosive hazards in Central Asia.
Physical Security and Stockpile Management
Currently, ITF supports the renovation and upgrade of two engineering ammunition storage facilities in Koy Tash and one in Osh, which was equipped with video surveillance system as well. Additionally, ITF will reconstruct a roof on a storage facility, where energetic materials extracted during disposal activities are temporarily stored before being furtherly processed. The harsh weather conditions prolonged the works that are now expected to finish in 2018.
Destruction of Surplus Weapons and Ammunition
In May 2016, ITF initiated disposal of artillery ammunition surpluses with expired shelf life in Osh, Kyrgyz Republic using reverse engineering/disassembling method. Disposal of all currently earmarked 57mm artillery ammunition was completed by end of July 2017 with the disposal of 100mm OU-415, which started in August 2017 and is still ongoing. Around 1,000 artillery ammunition items (100mm OU-415) are destroyed on average per operational month. In addition to continuous disposal of obsolete artillery ammunition, ITF has destroyed all 35,664 earmarked antipersonnel landmines.