Somalia bans antipersonnel landmines
The Trans Federal Government in Somalia has decided to join the Mine Ban Treaty of the United Nations. The mine action unit within the Danish Refugee Council recognizes and supports the development.
Somalia is one of the regions in Africa most contaminated by mines. As the last African country to officially ban use of landmines, Somalia has now agreed to destroy all stockpiles no later than 1 October 2016 and to clear all contaminated land no later than 1 October 2022.
In addition to this, Somalia is obliged to provide assistance to the thousands of mine victims. Somalia has never produced mines, but it is assessed that around 200 communities are contaminated by mines.
At least 159 casualties of landmines and explosive remnants of war in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) where recorded in 2010, including 19 children killed and 86 children injured. The true casualty figure is likely to be much higher.
“Joining the international Mine Ban Treaty happens despite ongoing conflict and shows that Somalia now recognizes the humanitarian impact of landmines,” says Klaus Ljørring Pedersen, DDG Regional Director for Horn of Africa & Yemen.
In Mogadishu the mine action unit within the Danish Refugee Council, the Danish Demining Group (DDG) is focusing on emergency clearance and Mine Risk Education coordinated through the UN office responsible for demining in Somalia.
Further to the north, in the regions of Galguduud, Mudug and Nygaal, the programme is focusing on surveying and clearance along the Somali – Ethiopian border, coordinated with the Puntland Mine Action Center, who is responsible for demining in Puntland.
DDG uses this capacity in the community safety approach, by conducting private stockpile workshops followed up by collection and destruction of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and by training volunteers to become trainers in Mine Risk Education. This work is being conducted throughout the areas of DDG operations.