Issue 6.1, April 2002

 

The Kosovo MACC:
“The Most Successful Mine Action Program Ever”

 

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Using groundbreaking new ideas and ingenious combinations of favorite demining methods, the Kosovo Mine Action Coordination Center (MACC) has succeeded in clearing the province of landmines in less than three years. Mr. John Flanagan, MACC Program Manager, offers insights on the MACC’s accomplishments and a vision for the future of mine action.

by JJ Scott, MAIC

Introduction

A Bosnian deminer gently probes for landmines during an exercise with live ordnance. c/o AP

June 10, 1999: The NATO Secretary General announced the suspension of NATO air strikes in Kosovo. After seven days of relentless bombing, Yugoslav and Serbian forces had agreed to withdraw from Kosovar territory, clearing the way for deployment of United Nations (UN) peacekeepers, the Kosovo Stabilization Force (KFOR). Simultaneously, the UN declared the establishment of the UN Interim Administration for Kosovo (UNMIK), mandating that this body "promote an atmosphere of security and safety that will enable all refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to enjoy the right to return freely to their homes and to live in conditions in which the highest standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected."1 The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) recognized the threat that landmines and UXO posed to the success of this goal and set about developing a program to deal with these hazards.

One week later, with KFOR entrenched and the Serbians extracted, the Kosovo Mine Action Coordination Center (MACC) opened for business with John Flanagan serving as the MACC’s Program Manager. Under his leadership, the Kosovo demining program swept the country clean of threatening landmines and UXO in just over two years, an unprecedented achievement. In December 2001, Mr. Flanagan declared Kosovo’s UXO threat to be comparable to that of any other European country, thus accomplishing the MACC’s primary mission.

Although Kosovo’s initial landmine and UXO situation was unique in some respects, several lessons learned there can be applied to future mine action programs (MAPs). Mr. Flanagan believes that if every MAP used demining methods appropriate to their unique situations, the worldwide landmine problem could be solved in a relatively short time—much shorter than most in the demining community consider possible. Some of his insights are introduced below as I outline the Kosovo MACC from top to bottom, hopefully illuminating all of the imaginative answers this program used to solve mine action’s toughest questions.

The Kosovo MACC

Organization

With only seven days elapsing between conception and implementation of the program, it is amazing just how many acronyms stand between the UN and the Kosovo MACC. The UN established UNMIK and gave the administration a mandate that included providing for the safe return of thousands of IDPs. Because landmines and UXO presented such a hazard to returning civilians, UNMAS became involved. Officials at UNMAS chose the UN Office for Program Services (UNOPS) to design an UNMIK Mine Action Program (MAP), which they charged with all coordination activities surrounding the demining of Kosovo. That MAP became known as the Kosovo MACC.

As a coordinating body, the MACC had no demining assets of its own, instead relying on other organizations to carry out all operations. Mr. Flanagan explained, "One of the key differences in the establishment of the Kosovo MACC was the extra ‘C’ in our title. The MACC was deliberately set up as a ‘coordination’ center, rather than the more traditional mine action center." Other UN departments, NGOs and corporations provided all deployable machinery, manpower and commodities. This setup allowed each organization to focus on its specialty areas while the MACC worked on integrating all activities. For example, while MINE-TECH performed demining operations in western Kosovo on land previously surveyed by the HALO Trust, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Handicap International (HI) simultaneously conducted mine awareness and victim assistance programs in the same areas. The MACC concentrated solely on directing the work of all organizations involved to ensure maximum efficiency.

A new "Senior Partner" system was also implemented by the MACC to help spread authority and coordination responsibilities among the different organizations assisting in each of the many facets of mine action. Under this arrangement, some of the major clearance and awareness organizations acted as coordinators at the local level, thus eliminating unnecessary additional infrastructure and personnel costs. This scenario also gave these organizations a sense of pride and ownership over their parts of the program, theoretically increasing the quality of their work.

Mission Statement

The MACC’s stated goals were deceptively simple and straightforward: "Replicate the situation that exists in virtually all European countries that have experienced conflict during the 20th Century," and do it within three years.2 In this condition, citizens may periodically find scattered mines and UXO remaining after clearance, but they have been trained to safely handle the situation. Landmines and UXO pose only the smallest threat to civilians as they go about rebuilding their economic and social lives. The goal in Kosovo was not 100 percent clearance. The MACC estimated that completely clearing the entire country would have taken 30 to 50 years using standard manual demining methods. Obviously, that timeframe would not allow Kosovo to rebuild in a timely manner. So the MACC adopted a different tactic, trading a 100 percent safety guarantee (after five decades) for the immediate improvement of most Kosovars’ lives and a small amount of residual risk. The MACC attempted to minimize civilian impact as quickly and efficiently as possible, thus helping the most people in the least amount of time. Realizing this goal required some innovative methodology by the MACC, as no previous MAP had ever laid out such ambitious goals within such a limited timeframe.

The MACC’s Five Principles

The Kosovo MACC quickly established five principles to form the foundation upon which to build the rest of the program. Stressing efficiency, speed and safety, the MACC focused on:

  • Integrated Mine Action

  • Information Management

  • Threat Assessment

  • Risk Management

  • Quality Management

Using new strategies and proven techniques, the Kosovo MACC delivered on its promises by following these principles faithfully. Examples of the novel combinations used by the MACC are outlined below.

Integration

The MACC needed to address each of the four pillars of mine action—mine clearance, mine awareness, victim assistance and advocacy—and they needed to do it quickly and efficiently. They soon determined that they needed to integrate mine action activities on an unprecedented scale. Effective integration involves the concurrent execution of various aspects of mine action to eliminate redundancy and wasted effort. For example, groups might conduct mine awareness simultaneously with demining operations in a village, as explained above. Effectively integrating all four pillars allowed the MACC to accomplish their

A “booby trap” mine. c/o UN/UNHCR

action to eliminate redundancy and wasted effort. For example, groups might conduct mine awareness simultaneously with demining operations in a village, as explained above. Effectively integrating all four pillars allowed the MACC to accomplish their lofty goals with unsurpassed efficiency.

Information Management

Integration on the scale that the Kosovo MACC dealt with required a new system for information management. To coordinate the survey teams and mine awareness groups with the multiple NGOs carrying out the actual demining, the MACC had to process vast amounts of raw data and then distribute useful information to people in the field in a timely manner. This would be a daunting task anywhere, but in the decimated country of Kosovo, it could have been a nightmare. Luckily, the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) stepped in with their newly developed Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA).

IMSMA provides the entire mine action community with a standardized repository for data. Everyone participating in a mine action project—survey takers, deminers, and those involved with mine awareness and victim assistance—gathers the same statistics from every area within the work zone and submits them to the IMSMA database. Using this standardized data, IMSMA allows coordinators to dramatically increase their efficiency. Managers can analyze data, view graphs and charts of all data, plot geographic maps of mine fields, keep track of all mine action activities, and view compilations of any statistics they wish, all within the same system. "It enabled us to collate and analyze a massive amount of data in a very short period of time and allowed the hands-on management of clearance and mine awareness activities," Mr. Flanagan explained.

In Kosovo, the MACC had to take care not to repeat activities already completed by KFOR during their own military demining activities. KFOR conducted surveys to locate mined areas and to determine the accuracy of other reports; both are activities that the MACC itself might otherwise have needed to do. Fortunately, KFOR agreed to use the IMSMA database, thus allowing all of their mine action-related data to be compiled along with the MACCs. To ensure rapid distribution of this processed information within Kosovo, the MACC established regularly updated satellite offices throughout the country. Some NGOs also set up information centers for local populations, allowing civilians to access landmine and UXO data about their own community without traveling long distances.3

Though invaluable, the IMSMA system was not flawless. Working with the GICHD, the MACC Information Technology Branch assisted in the development of a new version of the system. According to Mr. Flanagan, "version 2.2 is significantly better than the version 1.1 model initially deployed in Kosovo." Most UN demining programs now use this vastly improved version of IMSMA.

Threat Assessment

When civilians see a truck burdened with crates of landmines barrel past them, and then observe overturned dirt or empty crates in a nearby meadow, that meadow becomes a mine field. When something—anything—goes bang!, the entire surrounding area becomes a mine field. Landmines frighten people, so when a rumor gets started about mines, people tend to exaggerate the size of the affected area when reporting it to authorities or even create imaginary mine fields where none exist. Did that truck simply deliver those crates of mines to some warehouse without ever planting them? Was that only a random piece of UXO that exploded in the field, dangerous but not requiring the commitment of a full-scale demining contingent? Previously, it didn’t matter in humanitarian demining, because every reported mine field got the same assets thrown at it, leaving deminers to discover that sometimes the mines they’d been hunting never actually existed. Ghost mine fields drained resources just as fast as the real thing.

At first, ghost mine fields posed a real problem to the MACC’s goals. The Kosovo MACC needed a way to quickly confirm or discredit reported mine fields to help them distribute assets in the most efficient manner possible. Instead of a cookie-cutter mentality (using the same solution for every problem), they customized their approach depending on the situation. Surveys have always been a necessary component of any demining program, and the Kosovo program was no different. Level One surveys helped the MACC to substantiate or discredit civilian-reported mine fields. The MACC devised a system that divided Kosovo into 320 distinct districts and then assigned each district a mine impact rating of high, low, or nil. This level of precision allowed the MACC to customize their response to an unprecedented degree.

Before committing resources, the MACC followed up with Level Two surveys to determine exactly which land in a suspected mine field actually contained mines. Quite often, surveyors discovered that suspect contaminated areas were devoid of mines. Other fields were mined at such a low level that the MACC deemed full-scale deployment of forces unnecessary. Determining the mine density in each field ensured an efficient distribution of assets.

Risk Management

"Our mantra within the MACC was ‘We’re not going to prod our way across Kosovo’," announced Mr. Flanagan. This slogan is another example of the MACC’s efforts to get things done in the most efficient way possible, even if they had to abandon some standard practices. Many demining practitioners feel that manual demining is the surest, safest and most dependable method of clearing mine fields. While this may be true, manual demining is also often the slowest and least efficient demining method, a fact recognized by the MACC. In accordance with their stated goal of clearing more land faster, the MACC employed mine detecting dogs (MDDs), mechanical systems and manual teams in various combinations, depending on the situation.

While realizing that utilizing methods other than manual demining might have left a slightly greater percentage of mines/UXO after clearance, the MACC decided that the speed and efficiency benefits granted by such systems far outweighed any increase in risk. Adopting this policy required that the MACC break from some standard operating procedures (SOPs) during their demining exercises. Mr. Flanagan assured me that SOPs were not recklessly broken, "but we did not slavishly adhere to procedures if they could be safely modified to increase efficiency and productivity." He further explained that the MACC’s Quality Assurance Officer had to approve every deviation from SOPs, "and would not do so if there was any question about the safety or applicability of the action."

Quality Management

Considering the compromises made for the sake of speed and efficiency, the Kosovo MACC put special emphasis on their quality assurance program. The MACC designed the program to ensure that all areas declared safe were in fact cleared to the appropriate standards. Only through such a program could the MACC safely maintain its desired balance between safety and speed.

Five Quality Assurance (QA) teams rotated through each of the clearance areas on a regular schedule, focusing on specific, well-defined areas during each visit. QA teams had two goals: make sure demining teams operated safely to prevent their own injuries, and make sure they operated thoroughly to prevent civilian injuries after clearance was concluded. The QA teams achieved both goals by ensuring that each clearance operation adhered to its MACC-approved

Acronyms
 
UNMIK UN Interim Administration for Kosovo
UNMAS UN Mine Action Service
MAP Mine Action Program
MACC Mine Action Coordination Center
IMSMA Information Management System for Mine Action
MDDs Mine Detection Dogs
CBU Cluster Bomb Unit
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
KFOR Kosovo Stabilization Force; UN Peacekeepers
KLA Kosovo Liberation Army
MUP
 
Serbian Special Police
VJ
 
Vojska Jugoslavic; The Yugoslav Army

 SOPs. "This is based on the notion that if correct procedures are followed, mine clearance is a relatively mechanical, safe activity" for deminers and civilians alike, Mr. Flanagan explained. QA teams acted as "community constables, not riot police. Their job was to identify problems in their infancy, before they caused major catastrophes," he continued. In demining, catastrophes equal unnecessary, preventable injury and/or death for workers or civilians. Each QA team worked to eliminate the possibility of any such occurrence.

Mine Clearance, Mine Awareness, and Victim Assistance in Kosovo

The MACC’s five guiding principles—integrated mine action, information management, threat assessment, risk management, and quality management—applied to each of the four pillars of Mine Action addressed in Kosovo. While they did not emphasize advocacy, the MACC was heavily involved with clearance, awareness and victim assistance in Kosovo. Remember, the MACC coordinated all mine action activities, but other organizations carried out all actual operations. Once again, the MACC’s management methods sometimes strayed from the accepted norm, but their imaginative initiatives proved effective and successful.

Mine Clearance

Clearance operations are the heart of any Mine Action operation. Removing a landmine from the ground is the only way to guarantee that it never claims a victim. In Kosovo, the MACC had to contend with mines laid by three different factions: the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the Serbian Special Police (MUP) and the Vojska Jugoslavic (VJ). The VJ provided the MACC with 620 mine field records of varying accuracy and compre

hensiveness. Says Mr. Flanagan, "the maps provided by the VJ proved invaluable as a guide for determining the scope and nature of each mine clearance task." When used in conjunction with all other information sources, the maps allowed the MACC to get a fairly accurate idea of where mines might lie in wait. Discernible patterns in VJ mine fields also greatly assisted demining operations, since the VJ had planted the vast majority of the mines found by the MACC.

The MUP specialized in laying small numbers of unmarked nuisance mines throughout villages and around essential infrastructure elements. These stray mines proved particularly troublesome as their dangerous positioning but low density made their removal both necessary and inefficient. Again, experienced deminers could sometimes detect patterns even without any records. This demonstrates the remarkable level of experience and competence displayed by some of the demining organizations. These guys were good.

The KLA reported clearing all mines they had laid during the war, and deminers in the field generally confirmed this claim. Only a few mine fields discovered in Kosovo could be attributed to KLA activities. Though all data provided by combatants helped, the maps and information given to the MACC mentioned only 624 of the nearly 2,500 mine-suspected areas reported by civilians. This fact shows the importance of the MACC’s own surveys in determining the severity of each district’s landmine problem. Sometimes soldiers have better things to do than mark mine field maps as accurately as possible.

Despite troubles with maps provided by each faction, the demining groups working under the MACC neutralized thousands of landmines in Kosovo. By November of 2001, with 93 percent of demining activities completed, these groups had prevented 23,359 landmines from injuring any living creature. In the process, the MACC declared 30.5 million square meters of land free from the impact of mines, thus allowing inhabitants of these areas to resume normal life.4

Landmines are never the only devices that humanitarian deminers must contend with, as any piece of UXO can act as a mine by indiscriminately exploding when disturbed. This proved especially true in Kosovo. NATO forces relied heavily on cluster bomb units (CBUs) during their air campaign, and remnants of these insidious devices—many still potentially explosive—littered large swaths of the Kosovo landscape after the war. CBUs consist of a several-foot-long metal housing shaped like a conventional bomb, but instead of containing a single warhead, each CBU conceals hundreds of smaller warheads. Each of these bomblets, as they are called, is capable of significant destruction.

Deminers hate CBUs for two reasons: First, they are designed to disperse their devastating parcels over a large area so they can destroy more enemy assets than is possible with conventional, single-warhead bombs. Second, and more significant to deminers, the bomblets released by CBUs don’t always explode. Military sources acknowledge a failure rate of five to seven percent, meaning that about six percent of all bomblets reach the ground intact, spread over a large area, still armed and ready to kill. Bad as this sounds, many deminers report that true failure rates are probably 15-20 percent. One out of every five bomblets landing intact means huge problems for humanitarian deminers, and Kosovo proved no different. In addition to their abundance and pervasiveness throughout Kosovo, CBU bomblets are also much more fragile than most other explosive devices. Whereas landmines must be triggered by weight or tripwire, a bomblet may explode from even the most cautious handling. Often exploding them in place is the only safe way to deal with bomblets.

NATO provided coordinates for 333 targeted areas over which allied planes dropped 1392 CBUs. Within target areas, deminers discovered colossal strips of land saturated with shrapnel, shattered machinery and still-active bomblets. This metal-strewn environment greatly complicates the use of metal detectors, leading to an increased reliance on dogs and other methods. Some bomblets were found intact and still armed more than 50cm below the surface, and deminers discovered one complete CBU over two meters deep!5 By November 2001, deminers in Kosovo had disposed of over 20,000 bomblets and other UXO. NATO member nations covered much of the clearance costs for the CBUs they dropped through bilateral funding.

The demining organizations in Kosovo used all assets available to them over the duration of the operation. Manual deminers, MDDs, and machines all played prominent roles in the field. Manual deminers and dogs took the lead by finding most of the mines, while machines played more of a support/QA role. Demining organizations operating under the MACC used four diverse flail systems, employing each strictly within its specifications. After deminers removed all identified rows of mines, the flails pounded through and ensured that no mines remained hidden outside of or between the rows. If a machine did strike a mine in a previously cleared area, an investigation followed immediately to determine why the mine still lingered and what remedial actions needed to be taken.

Huge Pearson rollers mounted on armored loaders played a verification role in areas where locals refused to use large stretches of land because they’d "heard" that a mine field existed in the area. As mentioned above, these ghost mine fields could have eaten up huge amounts of the MACC’s resources if deminers had to manually investigate each one. Instead, the rollers were deployed to quickly verify the absence of mines. Mr. Flanagan commented, "We named this sort of clearance ‘peace of mine(d) clearance’," since no mines were actually removed because they had never existed!

A mine contaminated neighborhood.
c/o AP

The MACC had to prove that the land was mine-free in order to return it to productive use. Large machines may not be well suited to many demining tasks, but their utility in these verification roles clearly showed that machines can bring value to a demining operation, provided they are used only within their specifications. Mr. Flanagan summed up the MACC’s approach to mine clearance in Kosovo by reiterating the MACC’s core commitments: "We used a combination of manual, MDD, and mechanical systems and evaluated the best approaches to ensure that we created an appropriate, integrated solution for each specific activity."

Looking forward to the eventual extraction of all MACC-supervised demining organizations, Handicap International began training a local demining capacity in August of 2001. Known as the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), these men took over residual demining operations once the MACC had finished. Whenever a civilian spots a landmine or UXO from now on, they must notify the KPC to take care of it. Obviously, the MACC worked very hard to ensure that these men do not receive much work.

Mine Awareness

While deminers surveyed and cleared towns and surrounding areas of landmines and UXO, other organizations conducted mine awareness campaigns, informing civilians of the dangers posed by the explosive devices strewn about their war-torn communities. Many civilians are simply unaware of the dangers posed by landmines in their area, so they act in ways that elevate their risk for injury or death. Mine awareness programs tell civilians where mines or UXO are buried, what dangers these devices represent, and what to do if they spot an unmarked landmine, all with the intent of changing risky behaviors to prevent unnecessary casualties.

The MACC designed two mine awareness programs for Kosovo: the Safer Village concept and the Child-to-Child program. Each program attacked the mine awareness problem from a different angle, but their overriding goal was the same: educate civilians (especially children) to avoid preventable deaths due to landmines. The Safer Village concept looked at each village in isolation and then developed specific recommendations to help citizens identify and eliminate their hazardous behaviors. The Child-to-Child program took advantage of children’s propensity to share everything they know with their friends. Program organizers taught groups of children to avoid mine-suspected areas and what to do if they did come across an unmarked mine. These children then passed on the information at school and at home while organizers reinforced the lessons through traditional activities.

As clearance progressed, the main message changed from avoidance of mined areas to the safe reporting of stray mines and UXO. Trainers taught the children to report all suspicious materials to the police, KFOR, or ICRC volunteers. Both programs proved extremely effective, as casualties dropped nearly every month for their duration.

Victim Assistance

Neither mine clearance nor mine awareness programs can prevent all mine/UXO accidents. Several agencies specialized in helping landmine survivors with their recovery and eventual reintegration into society. In Kosovo, the World Health Organization (WHO) took the lead, with assistance from the ICRC, Handicap International and the Mother Theresa Society. Recovery and rehabilitation activities rely heavily on sound infrastructure, and the run-down state of many Kosovar buildings certainly retarded these groups’ efforts. The MACC’s primary victim assistance goal was to rebuild a national capacity to allow Kosovars to care for their fallen comrades with their own means.

A countrywide survey of all known landmine/UXO survivors in Kosovo also fell under the auspices of the victim assistance program. This investigation obtained baseline data to paint a fuller picture of the socio-economic and psychosocial needs of affected Kosovars. Analysis of the gathered data allowed for more effective and efficient planning, thus furthering the MACC’s overriding goals of speed, efficiency, and safety.6

Unusual Circumstances

Throughout the HD community, there has been an outpouring of praise for the Kosovo MACC and its management team. While the MACC was certainly an undeniable success, we must note some of the unique circumstances that contributed significantly to the MACC’s achievements. Perhaps the most visible factor was the veritable avalanche of aid that initially descended upon the MACC. The war in Kosovo was extremely high profile and included many of the world’s major players, which led to high donor interest from the outset. "Thanks to the efforts of a number of donors, equipment, personnel and operational clearance capabilities were provided in a rapid manner," Mr. Flanagan noted. But the avalanche of aid proved typically short-lived. As with many demining operations, donations tailed off at the end of the mission, but the MACC’s ingenuity pulled the program through the tough times. Said Mr. Flanagan, "At times we were basically cash-strapped … but at the end of the year the task was completed." And that’s all that matters.

Kosovo was a disaster area when the MACC first became operational, lacking many basic governmental services. Though this was surely detrimental in many regards, it also allowed the UN to act unimpeded by local authorities. Along with functional roads, health care services and governmental offices, red tape simply did not exist in Kosovo by the time the MACC arrived. The UN observed the situation, decided what was necessary and implemented the program with unmatched efficiency. Likewise, the MACC did not have to worry about much resistance or interference from local leaders.

Finally, though mines and UXO saturated Kosovo, the province itself is relatively small, leaving less area to scour than in many other operations. The landmine problem was also fairly recent in Kosovo, so no 50-year-old mines were around to discover in long-forgotten areas. People generally had a good idea of which areas were mined and which were clear, and combatants provided maps to complement people’s memories. When all available information was collected and analyzed using the IMSMA system, the MACC found it fairly easy to determine which areas required clearance and which resources to use.

That being said, the significance of the MACC’s accomplishments cannot be overemphasized. Mr. Flanagan himself declared the MACC to be "the most successful MAP ever implemented by the UN." A bold statement to be sure, but who would argue? As Mr. Flanagan reminded me, "this was the first time that the UN had actually started and completed a mine action program through its stated objectives." The MACC earned laudatory comments for its effective management strategies, early adoption and thorough implementation of the IMSMA system, and the declaration of unambiguous and attainable goals. Remarking on the nearly universal praise garnered by the MACC, he added: "I believe that almost all those who worked under the UN umbrella during the program in Kosovo would agree" that the MACC was an absolute success.

Lessons Learned and the Future of Mine Action

Though the circumstances surrounding the MACC’s implementation were rather unique, some of the lessons learned in Kosovo are applicable to future MAPs. Mr. Flanagan informed me that the overall structure of the Kosovo MACC is being imitated in Lebanon and Eritrea, since "there are certain principles that should be applied wherever possible." However, he stressed that the most important lesson from Kosovo "is that there is no template solution in mine action." The most effective tactic used by the MACC was the design and implementation of a "Kosovo solution to the Kosovo problem." Integration and effective information management allowed the complete customization of the MACC-led program, the flexibility of which led in turn to unmatched speed, efficiency, safety and success throughout the operation.

Mine action is often presented as an impossible problem. We’ve all heard that there are billions of landmines covering entire continents, completely eliminating populations, and that their removal may very well take till the end of time. Yes, I’m exaggerating, but my hyperbole is only slightly inflated when compared to the numbers frequently reported by advocacy groups, numbers that get frequent exposure in the press, accuracy be damned. Mr. Flanagan chooses to look at the land mine problem from a much different, much more optimistic and practical outlook. "I firmly believe that the problem of mine contamination can be rapidly brought under control in the vast majority of affected countries using existing technologies and techniques if each program is properly managed and implemented. An integrated approach is critical," he declared. Obviously, he bases this statement on the recent success of the Kosovo MACC, but the wisdom to that approach cannot be denied.

Mr. Flanagan is not an overly optimistic dreamer when it comes to mine action though, either. He sees a very small window of opportunity open to the demining world right now, a window that may slam shut unless the HD community can come up with a string of successes now. If other projects are not wrapped up quickly and successfully, "then there is a strong possibility that donors will become disillusioned and interest in the topic will wane," he prophesies.

With world attention currently focused on Afghanistan and the landmine situation there, the stage is set for a flurry of demining activities throughout the world. Flush with his recent, hard-earned success, Mr. Flanagan manages to see a light at the end of the demining tunnel, much nearer than many others in the field would suspect. "If all the resources that are currently being frittered away through disjointed, inefficient or otherwise wasteful projects were brought to bear as part of a coordinated effort, the problem could essentially be solved in a ten-year period," he claims. Here’s hoping that all other MAPs throughout the world can achieve the same success that Mr. Flanagan and the Kosovo MACC have, because only then will the world enjoy the reality of Mr. Flanagan’s inspiring ten-year vision: a world free from the impact of landmines.

References

1. UN Security Council Resolution 1244, June 10, 1999. Retrieved from www.mineaction.org/unmik_org/departments/hq/introduction.htm.

2.Flanagan, John. "Kosovo MACC–Introduction", www.mineaction.org/unmik_org. (Retrieved January 14, 2002).

3. Eriksson, Daniel, & Jean, Daniel. "The Information Management system for Mine Action,"LandminesæMine Action in Kosovo. (September 2001).

4. Retrieved from http://welcome.to/macckosovo

5. Eldred, Paul. Kosovo MACC Threatsheet No. 1.

6. Flanagan, John. "Mine Action Program in Kosovo / Year 2000", www.mineaction.org/unmik_org/departments/hq/future.htm. (Retrieved January 14, 2002).

Contact Information

JJ Scott
MAIC
E-mail: scottjj@jmu.edu


 

 
 
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