The landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) problem in the Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) has been a legacy of the 2001 conflict between the government forces of North Macedonia and ethnic-Albanian insurgents, and the two World Wars. At the start of ITF activities in 2001, approximately 21 square kilometres of land were mine suspected and there was no national mine action capacity available.
With international support, including ITF, North Macedonia fulfilled its obligations of Article 5 of Ottawa convention in September 2006 and thus achieved a mine-free status, but the problem of UXO mostly from both World Wars still remains. UXO contamination presents an extensive problem, especially when coinciding with natural disasters, such as extensive fires, and requires a permanent national capacity. In addition, there is severe underwater UXO contamination in waters of North Macedonia, including Lake Ohrid, which has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
What we do
Clearance and Capacity Building
ITF assistance helped train, equip and support deminers of North Macedonia and altogether close to 4.5 square kilometres of land were cleared with 22 mines and 762 UXO found and destroyed.
Since 2006, ITF has been supporting North Macedonia in tackling the challenging problem of underwater UXO contamination of Lake Ohrid. ITF support enabled the establishment of a clearance capacity of North Macedonia and supported three underwater UXO clearance phases of Lake Ohrid, where 56,900 square meters of lake bottom were cleared. Altogether over 6,600 UXO weighing more than 19.6 tons were safely removed and destroyed.
In addition to mine clearance, ITF supported the rehabilitation of seven mine victims in Slovenia and supported the enrolment of one student on a Prosthetics and Orthotics study program at the College for Health Studies, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.