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Updated On: Saturday, 21 July 2018
Development Issues

Mine Awareness Day 2018

Content by: South-South News

9 April 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — On International Mine Awareness Day, marked annually on April 4, the Director of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), Agnès Marcaillou, said that in post conflicts environments “nothing can be fully efficient and successful unless the protection of the civilians from the threat of explosive hazards is addressed.”

Speaking to journalists in New York, Marcaillou said, “Stabilization, humanitarian access, development, reconstruction, returnees, building refugee camps, cannot take place if you blow up when you get out of your jeep.”

According to UNMAS, after nearly two decades of steadily diminishing casualty rates, the total number of people killed or injured by landmines and other explosive hazards in recent and current intense conflicts has leapt to its highest since 1999.

German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said, “Even when a conflict is over and mines and explosive remnants of war have been cleared,” there are still many victims “who need a lifetime special life support.”

Heusgen said, “we must not forget those whose lives have been forever changed by these perfidious weapons.”

For his part, Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom, said, “The explosive hazard problem in Iraq is unlike any other faced by the mine action sector today.”

Hussein Bahr Aluloom said, “On top of the legacy of mine fields remaining from previous wars, losing the military maps of the minefields before 2003, counterterrorism in Iraq to retake cities from Daesh, in addition to the lack of modern technology used the detection of mines, has left liberated areas significantly contaminated with explosive hazards including improvised explosive devices (IEDs).”

UNMAS says that mine action entails more than removing landmines from the ground; it includes five types of actions; clearance, education, victim assistance, advocacy, and stockpile destruction.

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