New York, MINA – On the day set aside to raise awareness about the threat of landmines, unexploded grenades and other munitions that impede the return to normal life after conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres urged Governments to provide political and financial support to keep up the vital work of mine action wherever it is needed.
“An unprecedented volume of landmines and unexploded weapons contaminates rural and urban war zones, maiming and killing innocent civilians long after conflict has ended,” Emirati news agency WAM quoted Mr. Guterres a saying in his message on International Mine Awareness Day, marked annually on 4th April.
Noting that roads cleared of explosive devices enable peacekeepers to patrol and protect civilians, he said: “Mine action is vital.”
“And when fields are cleared and schools and hospitals are made safe, normal life can resume,” he added.
According to the UN Mine Action Service, or 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; the human suffering caused by mines, explosive remnants of war and other explosive hazards, including roadside bombs or booby traps, is devastating.
“In our turbulent world, mine action is a concrete step towards peace,” stated the Secretary-General. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)