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Tajikistan Urges Neighbors To Join Mine Ban


A sign warning of mines in Tajikistan

A sign warning of mines in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan has called on all Central Asian countries to join the 1997 Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The Tajik National Demining Center says several mine fields have still not been demined since the country's mid-1990s civil war and along the Tajik-Uzbek border since 2000. At least 350 people have been killed and some 450 injured by mines since then.

Jonmahmad Rajabov, the head of the country's demining center, told RFE/RL that nearly 2.5 million square meters of mine fields have been demined in the last several years but that more than 15 million square meters still need to be demined.

He also noted that because the Tajik-Uzbek border has not been delimited it is impossible to work on the mine fields along that border.

A Tajik youth was killed by a mine on the Tajik-Uzbek border this week.

Only Turkmenistan and Tajikistan have ratified the Ottawa Treaty.
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