Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> Landmine Casualties up Despite Record Clearing
Ivo Skoric on Fri, 15 Sep 2006 05:24:40 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Landmine Casualties up Despite Record Clearing

Bosnia is not on track to meet the pledge to de-mine their territory 
within 10 years, the report says.
------- Forwarded message follows -------

Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 by 

Landmine Casualties up Despite Record Clearing
by Richard Waddington

GENEVA - A record area was cleared of landmines worldwide last year,
but casualties caused by the weapons rose by 11 percent to 7,328, 
with almost all the victims civilians, many of them children, a 
report said on Wednesday.

The hands of a mother and a child, victims of a landmine explosion, 
in south Nepal, June 6, 2005. A record area was cleared of landmines 
last year, but casualties caused by the weapons rose by 11 percent to
7,328, with many of the victims children, a report said on Wednesday.
REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar/Files

Despite stepped-up clearance work, efforts to implement a 1997 
international treaty banning the use of the anti-personnel weapons
could slow without higher levels of funding, according to the Land
mine Monitor Report 2006.

"Families affected by landmines want to see words become reality: 
they want to walk, play and live without fear, once and for all," 
said Sylvie Brigot, executive director of the International Campaign 
to Ban Landmines (ICBL), one of the humanitarian groups which 
produces the annual report.

The rise in casualties reflected conflicts in countries like Myanmar,
India, Nepal and Pakistan, which are not signatories to the ban, and
in treaty member Colombia where there were more than 1,100 mine
victims last year, the highest single total.

Rebel groups are the largest users, with Myanmar being the country
where government forces are known to have planted mines over the past
year, authors of the report told journalists.

Children account for 20 percent of the victims reported in nearly 60
countries. But at least as many other casualties are estimated to go

"We continue to believe the true number is at least two times this
(the reported figure)," said Steve Goose of the U.S.-based Human
Rights Watch.

The report, which monitors progress in applying the anti-mine treaty
adopted by over 150 countries, said landmines remained in at least 78


"The longer states take to clear these mines, the longer these mines
wait in the ground for innocent civilians to step on," said Jody
Williams, ICBL ambassador and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate for
her work in setting up the movement.

The total area cleared in 2005 was 740 square kilometers (300 square
miles), approximately the size of New York City. Some 470,000
landmines, including about 450,000 anti-personnel mines, and 3.75
million explosive devices were removed.

But funds for de-mining and for assisting victims fell for the first
time since the treaty came into force to $376 million, $23 million
less than in the previous year, the report said.

The European Union, the United States and eight other major donors 
cut back on help for de-mining activities. The steepest reductions 
were seen in Iraq, down 53 percent at $30.9 million, followed by
Afghanistan and Cambodia.

Money was also required for the up to 500,000 surviving mine victims,
many of whom are maimed and will need help for the rest of their
lives, the report said.

Activists said they expected the issue of money to be raised at the
week-long 8th annual conference of signatory states starting in 
Geneva on September 18.

Under the treaty, countries pledged to de-mine their territory within
10 years. But 13 states, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia,
Mozambique and Thailand, are not on track to meet the goal, the 
report said.

The United States, Russia and China, all major arms producers, are 
not signatories to the pact.

------- End of forwarded message -------------------------------------
Ivo Skoric
105 Robbins Street
Rutland VT 05701
ivo {AT} balkansnet.org

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net