Janus Global Operations’ (JGO) explosives detection teams, operating as Sterling Global Operations, cleared 1,246 landmines and other unexploded ordnance in a just-completed project for the Iraqi-Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA).
The work took place in the Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaymaniyah provinces of Kurdistan, Iraq. The project cleared more than 655,000 square meters of land, which has been turned over to local Kurdish government control. It will now be used for farming and housing.
A total of 243 local national employees, trained and supervised by Sterling demining professionals, were engaged in the demining work.
“We were proud to work with IKMAA for this project, and its completion means that civilians who enter into these areas are no longer in mortal danger, and what was once inaccessible land will now be used for farming and homes will be built on it,” said Alan Weakley, JGO president and chief operating officer. “Kurdistan is working hard to overcome decades of combat that affected much of its territory. IKMAA is known and respected for its work, which is rebuilding the region’s safety and future.”
Kurdish officials held a Nov. 22 ceremony to accept the previously explosives-contaminated land, now ready for productive use. Among Kurdish officials present were: Muhammad Ahmed, head of IKMAA; Jamal Jalal, director of Erbil Mine Action Center (EMAC); Ahmed Qadir Sor, district mayor; and Maj. Khild Hussein (Police). Some 50 people attended the ceremony, including Paul Lane, Sterling country manager and director of operations, which was covered by the Iraqi and Kurdish news media. Lane also participated in the official land release signing ceremony.