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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > October
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 16, 2001


U. S. Helping Macedonia Solve Its Unexploded Ordnance And Landmine Problems

Over the weekend, five Bosnian demining teams, funded by U.S. contributions to the Slovenian International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victim Assistance arrived in Macedonia to help that country eliminate its unexploded ordnance landmine problems. The United States is providing this emergency assistance to help the Government of Macedonia to eliminate unexploded ordnance and landmines that threaten the safety and security of refugees and internally displaced persons returning to their homes in the formerly conflicted areas.

A coordinating team from the International Trust Fund, including a technical advisor from the United States Department of State's Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, has already arrived in Macedonia to complete coordination and preparations with government authorities. The goal is to start demining operations next week and complete them before the onset of winter.

Following the completion of the emergency demining program, the U.S. will fund a "train and equip" program through the International Trust Fund for Macedonian demining teams. Details of this program are still being coordinated; however, it is anticipated that initial training and some equipment will be provided in the late November-early December time frame.

Macedonia is one of almost forty countries receiving assistance through the U.S. Humanitarian Demining Program. Since 1993, the United States has provided more than $500 million in humanitarian demining assistance to mine-affected countries around the world. This assistance has enabled the countries to reduce landmine casualty rates, to return refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, to restore agricultural land to productive use, to open roads and rivers to commerce, and to reintegrate landmine survivors as productive members of their societies.

For additional information, please contact Matt Murphy: (202) 647-4350, Fax (202) 647-4537, or murphy@hdp.org.


Released on October 16, 2001

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