Postwar landmines remain a concern

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Victoria Kaapanda

ONGWEDIVA – Ministry of information executive director Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said unexploded ordnance (UXO), especially landmines, remain a concern in Namibia, particularly in former war zones.

Ua-Ndjarakana said this after a 69-year-old man was killed in a landmine explosion at Ontanda village in Omusati region earlier this month.

He added that over the past 10 years, 14 people have been killed and 41 others have been injured by UXOs. The executive director said to date, over 49 230 remnants of war were discovered and destroyed during demining and landmines clearance joint operations by the Namibian police and Namibian Defence Force in the past 10 years.

“This significant progress was made possible, thanks to joint efforts by international communities, the Namibia security agencies and the communities of the affected areas,” said Ua-Ndjarakana. Ua-Ndjarakana said since independence, government has effectively carried demining operations consisting of NDF and Nampol members in most areas across the country.

“Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati and Ohangwena were the first phase of the demining operations started on 4 September 1995 and ended in 1998, and other phases followed thereafter,” he said. The government will continue to investigate the presence of explosives - related ordinances to prevent loss of lives, due to unexploded ordinances and landmines, Ua-Ndjarakana said.