Large areas of the Republic of Kosovo were contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), including cluster munition remnants (CMR) as a result of the conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and NATO in 1999. More than 500 casualties were reported due to landmines and ERW, with over 100 dead and more than 400 injured.
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) started its operations in Kosovo in 1999 as one of the first organisations to establish a mine action programme in the country.
From 1999-to 2001 the UN managed the initial response following the conflict and declared far too early that the problem had largely been solved when it pulled out its resources.
In 2013-2014 the Kosovo Mine Action Centre (KMAC) confirmed to NPA that Kosovo still has a mine and ERW problem and NPA was asked by KMAC and by the Norwegian Embassy in Kosovo to assist in the survey and clearance operations, particularly in the north of the country.
In 2015 NPA conducted a non-technical survey of the northern parts of the country, suspected to be contaminated with cluster munitions remnants, started technical survey and battle area clearance operations in 2016 and has been doing it since.
NPA’s activities are funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the U.S. Department of State. In the past, there was also funding from Norwegian Telethon and the Japanese Embassy in Kosovo.
- Treaty Status: The international status of Kosovo remains the subject of a dispute, therefore, Kosovo is not a state party to either the MBT or the CCM.
- NPA started its operations in Kosovo in 1999 and the initial project was phased out in 2001.
- NPA reengaged in Kosovo in 2014 to initially focus on cluster munitions contamination in northern municipalities, after the same work had been done in southern municipalities of Serbia.
- The vast majority of casualties (77 %) were recorded between 1999 and 2000, owing to the return of refugees and displaced persons immediately following the war.
- According to KMAC there is approximately 11 km2 of land contaminated with cluster munitions in the country.