Kyrgyz Republic continues to suffer from a substantial amount of outdated, unserviceable and hazardous for storage ammunition left behind after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. These stockpiles pose a serious threat to human security due to the proximity of land used for housing, and more crucially inadequate storage conditions, resulting in theft, smuggling, infrastructure deterioration and other challenges of Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM).
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 636 such incidents in 103 countries and territories in the period from 1979 to December 2021. In the same time period, there were 30,883 casualties recorded due to UEMS, averaging 718 deaths and injuries per year. Although there were no UEMS in Kyrgyz Republic, the CWD programs are crucial in diminishing the threat.
Considering the limited resources of the armed forces and high turnover the knowledge regarding the full cycle ammunition management is limited. It is important to educate the people adequately in order to transfer best practices and diminish the above-mentioned threats.
A final important aspect of human security that ITF is addressing in Kyrgyz Republic is cybersecurity. New threats related with rapid digitalization that impact both state and individual actors have not only digital, but also very real impacts. Identity theft, phishing, spyware, ransomware, etc. certainly bring threats, but also presents an opportunity for the local population to enter one of the fastest developing career paths in the modern age.
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 CWD and PSSM above through the implementation of specialized trainings, procurement of equipment, and creation of procedures for disposal. Kyrgyz Republic also actively participates in regional events organized by ITF to address common concerns and challenges stemming from explosive hazards in Central Asia.
With cooperation of the Ammunition Management Advisory Team ITF conducted the first training and inventory of engineering explosive and ammunition since Kyrgyz Republic gained their independence.
With the cooperation of our partner Viris, ITF is conducting train the trainers workshops aimed at teaching future experts best practices in the field of cyber security and giving them tools to pass the gained knowledge forward. The pilot project is implemented at the American University of Central Asia, with three phases of workshops and mentoring of local students in the field of general cyber security and cyber hygiene and writing of safe code.
Physical Security and Stockpile Management
ITF implemented several PSSM improvements starting with fences, video surveillance, and alarms and ranging to full IATG compliant newly constructed and renovated storehouses in Koy Tash, Osh and Balykchy. Currently ITF is expanding on these results with construction and renovation of several warehouses in Balykchy for storage of ammunition, and three warehouses including other PSSM improvements in Osh for storage of small arms and light weapons.
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. The method focuses on safe and environmentally friendly technologies. Disposal in Kyrgyz Republic included 57mm artillery ammunition,100mm OU-415, disposal of anti-personnel landmines, MANPADS, ATGM and other energetic materials.