MAPA declares Karte Sakhi free of landmines and UXO

Working toward the achievement of the Ottawa Convention benchmarks and in support of International Peace Day on 21 September, the Mine Action Program for Afghanistan (MAPA) has completed demining the community of Karte Sakhi in Kabul. The handover ceremony will take place at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, 16 September.

Karte Sakhi was one of the most heavily mined areas of western Kabul after becoming a frontline in battles between two rival factions during the civil war. Many residents left the neighborhood and moved to more secure areas within the city or migrated to other countries.

The MAPA started mine clearance activities in western Kabul in September 1995. The MAPA has cleared a total of 260,793 square meters of contaminated land throughout Karte Sakhi and destroyed 723 anti-personnel mines and 686 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO). The MAPA’s work enabled more than 1, 000 families to return to their homes.

The MAPA, an umbrella organization comprised of implementing partners that are coordinated by UNMACA, has cleared more than one billion square meters throughout Afghanistan since 1989 – destroying more than 300,000 antipersonnel mines, more than 18,000 anti-tank mines and about seven million pieces of UXO. Afghanistan became a State Party to the Ottawa Convention in March 2003 and committed to clearing all minefields in the country by 2013.