Albania was contaminated with landmines and cluster munitions as a spill-over contamination from the Kosovo* crisis in 1999. The contaminated areas covered 120 kilometers along the Albanian border from Montenegro to Macedonia (an overall of 15,250,000 square meters). Since 1999, there have been 210 mine/UXO accidents, in which 238 persons were injured and 34 killed. By the end of 2009, all areas in northeastern Albania along the border area were cleared, surveyed or released. On 1 December 2009, at the Cartagena Summit in Columbia, Albania officially declared “Mine Free Status”.
Stores of ammunition in former military depots, left over from Albania’s former communist regime, still pose a serious safety threat. According to the Albanian Mine & Munitions Coordination Office (AMMCO) data, there have been 979 abandoned explosive ordnance casualties (145 killed and 834 injured) recorded all over Albania. The current number of dangerous UXO hotspots has been reduced to 4 from initially 19 identified in 2011.
What we do
ITF started its hotspots clearance program in Albania back in 2009, and re-started its program in 2014 partnership with NGO Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) that is continuing the clearance of remaining hotspots in Jube Sukth. The project is planned to be finished on 31 October 2018. NPA has cleared 192,232 square meters of land. ITF also led the project Capacity Support to Albanian Mine & Munitions Coordination Office (AMMCO) which was finished in December 2017. The overall goal of the project was to contribute to making Albania safe from ERW/UXO and to the fulfillment of the Albanian Government commitment to eliminate the threats posed by UXO and ERW.
In 2017, ITF was implementing a project supporting UXO/ERW survivors of Albania through Vocational Training Initiative (VTLEPI), providing rehabilitation treatment at the University Rehabilitation Institute Ljubljana (URI – Soča), Slovenia. ITF also signed a donation agreement with Kukes Regional Hospital for the donation of medical/rehabilitation materials and equipment.