At a glance
ELBASAN, Albania, 1 October 2012 - The Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth, pledged support for destroying remaining surplus ammunition during a visit to the Mjekes military factory in Elbasan in central Albania today.
Wollfarth, who visited the factory together with Albania’s Defence Minister Arben Imami, stressed that completing the ammunition destruction process by 2013, as envisaged in the country’s demilitarization action plan, is critical for the security of people in the country and beyond.
“Dangerous chemicals, old ammunition and small arms, as long as they exist, represent a continuous danger for the well-being of Albanian citizens,” he said. “The demilitarization process is strengthening peace and security in Albania and throughout the broader region, and we are committed to further supporting the authorities in this.”
At the event, the OSCE Presence donated seven security cameras, a digital video recorder and a monitor for the factory.
“It is important to ensure that the workers are able to do their jobs in the safest possible conditions, and we are happy to contribute to increasing security for the employees of the factory,” said Wollfarth.
He added said that the OSCE Presence is looking into providing more assistance to the Defence Ministry in the destruction of small arms and light weapons.
Following the deadly explosion of ammunitions in Gerdec in 2008, the OSCE Presence, with financial support from OSCE participating States, has been assisting Albania in its efforts to safely destroy surplus of conventional ammunition and dangerous toxic chemicals. It helped to dispose of 34 tonnes of rocket fuel, 120 tonnes of Dichloroethane, a hazardous chemical , and provided equipment for the destruction of surplus ammunition.