The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
NationalSecurity

Landmines & unexploded ordnances still affecting people in Afghanistan

On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels. In 2023 the United Nations Mine Action Service will acknowledge the day under the campaign  “Mine Action Cannot Wait”, highlighting decades of contamination in several war-torn countries including Afghanistan, as well as draw attention to recent explosive ordnance contamination. The over-arching goal will be to bring attention to areas of the world that remain contaminated after many years, and where generations have changed their lives to avoid the threat. Explosive ordnance contamination threatens lives, curtails freedom of movement, limits access to arable land, disenfranchises communities and above all instills fear and insecurity. It spreads terror, and longstanding contamination internalizes this terror. Themost affected are the most vulnerable populations. In Afghanistan, hundreds of people are affected by landmines and other unexploded ordnances every year. On the occasion of International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action marked on 4th April very year, the International Committee of the Red Cross  (ICRC) said that hundreds of people are affected by mines in Afghanistan. “Every year, hundreds of people become victims of landmines and other unexploded ordinance in Afghanistan,” ICRC tweeted.

Meanwhile, acting state minister for natural disaster urged the international community to help Afghanistan in efforts to clear land mines and unexploded ordnance. Speaking at an event held to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Mohammad Abas  Akhund, acting state minister for natural disaster of the Islamic Emirate criticized international donors for slashing their aid in the demining sector of Afghanistan. According to acting state minister for natural disaster, there are many areas in Afghanistan that have not been cleared of mines and the country’s people are still affected by mines and other unexploded ordnances in the respective areas. Based on reports from the Mine Action, 3,500 square meters have been cleared of mines and 1,200 km other areas have been surveyed and need to be cleared. Based on information of the HALO Trust, a humanitarian nongovernment organization which protects lives and restores livelihoods of people affected by conflict, almost 864 people were victims of unexploded ordinance and among them, 411 people were martyred and 453 others were wounded.

As recently as two days ago, two children of a family were killed when an unexploded rocket shell went off in the Syedabad district of central Maidan Wardak province. Like this hundreds of people are killed or wounded by landmines and other unexploded ordnances in different parts of the country. Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.