The Armenian Assembly (Assembly) extends its condolences to The HALO Trust family upon learning the news of the tragic loss of three HALO Trust employees, Pavel Akopov, Samson Avanesyan, and Marat Petrosyan, who died while clearing mines in Artsakh, as well as Gagik Ghahilyan and Aram Mkrtchyan who were seriously injured.
The Assembly also expresses its deep gratitude for the important work and service of The HALO Trust. Armenians will always remember Pavel, Samson, and Marat, whose lives were lost while clearing landmines to keep the people of Armenia and Artsakh safe, and will pray during this Easter Holy Week for the full recovery of Garil and Aram.
Everyday around the world more than 8000 HALO staff go to work in places where no one else can tread and this tragic incident throws into stark relief the dangers that they face and the importance of our work. Our colleagues were killed while working to make the land safe for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Between 2000-2016, The HALO Trust in Artsakh has destroyed 180,858 small arms ammunition, 48,572 units of “other explosive items,” 12,423 cluster bombs, 8,733 anti-personnel landmines, and 2,584 anti-tank landmines. HALO has cleared 88 percent of the territory’s minefields, with the goal to clear all landmines in Artsakh by 2020. According to HALO, Artsakh has “the highest per capita incidence of landmine accidents in the world – a third of the victims are children.”