Landmines kill 1 800 in DRC in three years

Landmines kill 1 800 in DRC in three years

KINSHASA – Landmines laid in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s five-year civil war have killed almost 1 800 people since the end of the conflict, the United Nations anti-landmine centre in DRC said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the first world day for the fight against explosive devices, the centre’s director Harouna Ouedraogo told Agence France-Presse that landmines kill people every month in the vast African country, the size of western Europe. “Their presence has a psychological impact on the population, who live in fear because mines do not go quiet after a war, they do not recognise any peace agreement,” he said.The UN operation lacks funding to de-mine DRC, Ouedraogo said.He called for stronger national and international action against landmines.The centre has identified 1 250 “danger zones” where the presence of landmines is known or strongly suspected.The overall number of such areas is unknown.”The task is immense, when you consider the size of the country, the absence of road infrastructure and the insecurity in several parts of eastern DRC,” he said.”We lack funding to carry out a technical evaluation necessary to develop a de-mining plan,” he added.”In 2005 we launched an appeal for US$12 million and have received fewer than two million dollars.”He said that the UN was still recovering mines and explosive devices from armed groups in the north-eastern trouble spot of Ituri and Kivu in the east.- Nampa-AFP”Their presence has a psychological impact on the population, who live in fear because mines do not go quiet after a war, they do not recognise any peace agreement,” he said.The UN operation lacks funding to de-mine DRC, Ouedraogo said.He called for stronger national and international action against landmines.The centre has identified 1 250 “danger zones” where the presence of landmines is known or strongly suspected.The overall number of such areas is unknown.”The task is immense, when you consider the size of the country, the absence of road infrastructure and the insecurity in several parts of eastern DRC,” he said.”We lack funding to carry out a technical evaluation necessary to develop a de-mining plan,” he added.”In 2005 we launched an appeal for US$12 million and have received fewer than two million dollars.”He said that the UN was still recovering mines and explosive devices from armed groups in the north-eastern trouble spot of Ituri and Kivu in the east.- Nampa-AFP

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