Baghdad, 10 December 2017 - The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the Directorate of Mine Action (DMA), and the Embassy of Canada to Iraq, celebrated the signing of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention twenty years ago, through a special photo exhibit of photographs from Mosul and beyond showcasing the clearance work undertaken by mine action operators.
Tunis, 10 December 2017 - Human Rights Day provides an important moment for reflection and an opportunity to renew calls for action. This year, it also marks the start of a year-long build up to the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a declaration that establishes the equality and dignity of every human being.
Seven decades on, the foundations of a more just world have been laid and the lives of millions have improved. Yet, we also see mounting cruelties and crimes, particularly in conflicts across the world.
This story was originally featured in our April 2017 edition of The Next Step.
Aderito Ismael, HI's head of demining operations in Colombia and former head of demining in Mozambique shares about our operations in Colombia:
Colombia is mountainous. Demining here is complicated. In rural areas, many routes are inaccessible, or even non-existent.
Baghdad, 07 December 2017– The Government of Portugal will support explosive hazard management, risk education and capacity enhancement initiatives to address explosive hazards in Iraq, with a contribution of one hundred and fifty thousand Euros (USD 175,000) to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
A partir de enero de 2018, el Grupo Danés de Desminado iniciará los Estudios No Técnicos y el Despeje de minas en el país. Su labor se enfoca en territorios de comunidades indígenas, campesinas y trabajar en parques nacionales naturales.
Kyiv (ICRC) – Twenty years have passed since the adoption in Ottawa, Canada of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, commonly known as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. This historic treaty, adopted on the basis of international humanitarian law, marked the first time that States agreed to completely ban the killers that anti-personnel landmines are. Since then there has been tangible progress, but the need to close the remaining gaps in its implementation remains strong.
Baghdad, 06 December 2017 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has recently been granted access to the Old City of Mosul to assess, survey and clear explosive hazards including improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war to complement the work of the Iraqi Security Forces. This will not only facilitate rehabilitation of infrastructure and assist the stabilization process but also allow for the safe return of displaced families to their homes.
Humanitarian demining is often presented as a technical component of post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, a painstaking and slow process necessary to avoid the human suffering caused by anti-personnel mines, improvised explosive devices, and explosive remnants of war (ERW) such as unexploded ordinance that have been left over after a peace deal is signed.
Aldin Karavdić was tending a herd of goats close to his family's home when he stepped on a landmine. The 16-year-old suffered severe injuries, especially to his right leg – luckily, doctors were able to save it. In these hills near the city of Mostar, many children used to herd the family cattle. But that was before residents learned that the area was littered with mines and unexploded ordnance from the Bosnian war.
On 24 November, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) successfully completed the delivery of a two-week training course on Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) for 16 Libyan National Safety Authority (NSA) and Military Engineers from Tripoli and Benghazi. The two-week training of trainers training aimed to strengthen the capacity of the Libyan authorities to carry out Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) more safely and effectively.
By Emeka Nwadike
In support of the disabled community, specially the victims of explosive remnants of war (ERW) accidents, UNAMID’s Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO) constructed and equipped five vocational centers across all Darfur states.
The project, which began in October 2015, is aimed at developing the capacities of persons with disabilities and providing them with income-generating activities.
Explosive remnants from the 1950-53 war on the Korean peninsula has, according to the DPRK authorities, caused more than 16,215 victims since the end of the war. Records from 5,024 accidents reports that the legacy weapons today are causing 150 victims annually.
Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) does not only kill and maim the people of the DPRK. Six decades after the cessation of armed conflict it still represents an impediment to human security and access to farm land, water sources and other necessities.
It was a cold December day like any other in Kachin State's Namsang village. As evening drew closer, 41-year-old Hpau Gum Kum Sang rushed his cattle to the fields, keen to quickly head back home to his wife and five children. But that was not to be. A fateful misstep on a landmine in the fields left the young farmer disabled, adding to the mounting number of civilians who have suffered due to the chronic fighting in Kachin State.
Six weeks after fighting subsided in Raqqa city in Syria and surrounding villages, former residents are returning home to find their houses in ruins and their streets and fields littered with unexploded remnants of war including booby-traps, landmines, ammunition and rockets.
In just 10 days from 19 to 28 November, 49 patients with blast injuries arrived at the clinic run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a neighbourhood in the east of Raqqa city.
It is 20 years since the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines was adopted, but the legacy of these devastating weapons lives on. Landmines need just an instant to create a catastrophic injury that lasts a lifetime. And for decades, landmines were used in huge numbers, all over the world. In the years before the Convention, Erik Tollefsen, the ICRC’s head of Weapons Contamination, remembers mine clearance as an almost hopeless task.
27 November 2017 – Mosul’s Al Qasoor Water Treatment Plant is on the eastern bank of the Tigris River which bisects the city that was, until about six months ago, one of the last strongholds of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Level (ISIL).
The water treatment facility – which looks from the air like two dark-green turn tables – today holds about 12,000 cubic metres of fresh water pumping to 300,000 people in 24 neighbourhoods; but shortly after ISIL fell, no one wanted to go near the site for fear that it was riddled with explosives.
Clearing four-decades old landmines will protect endangered elephants, lions and local communities
Harare, Zimbabwe — APOPO, the charity famed for its use of specially trained rats in landmine and tuberculosis detection, is proud to announce it will begin clearing landmines in Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife conservation area and important elephant migration area, coinciding with new beginnings in the country.
Author: Farhan hafeez
When the Community Based Risk Education Focal Person asked the dealers if they had any Unexploded Ordnance in their scrapyards, they refused to share any information from fear of arrest by the police
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS: A PRCS professional educates owners and workers at a scrapyard about the threat posed by the Unexploded Ordnance.
READY FOR DISPOSAL: Police officers stand with the Unexploded Ordnance collected from different scrapyards.
From 27 to 28 November, Handicap International (HI) is organising a regional conference on the bombing of civilians in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. This conference will bring together some 20 States, 10 African civil society organisations and international NGOs. The goal is to raise awareness of this vital challenge among African countries and to encourage them to take action on the world stage to protect civilians from the devastating impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
What does this conference aim to achieve