DR Congo

DRC: Kinshasa calls for more support in landmine removal

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NAIROBI, 7 November (IRIN) - The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has requested increased support in its efforts to rid the country of landmines.
The call came on Thursday during a UN General Assembly discussion of the UN mine-action strategy for the period 2001-2005.

Among other aid, the DRC ambassador to the UN, Fabien-Emery Zulu Kilo-Abi, said his nation needed legal, financial, technological and human assistance in its efforts to draw up and implement an anti-landmine programme, which would also help care for victims.

"There must be support for the destruction of stockpiles, as well as for the training of a national demining capacity," he added.

He said that although his was not one of the countries most affected by mines, many people had nevertheless been wounded and maimed.

Zulu Kilo-Abi recalled that the DRC had on 1 November 2002 become a state party to the Ottawa Convention to ban landmines, and continued to identify minefields within its territory and stockpiles of the devices in order to destroy them.

He said that many challenges remained, but that the collective awareness of the scope of the problem could help rally support.

[For the complete General Assembly communique, go to http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ga10206.doc.htm]

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