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Monday, August 31, 1998 Published at 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK


World: Africa

Ginola follows in Diana's footsteps

Princess Diana's tour of the Angolan minefields grabbed worldwide media attention

Footballer David Ginola is highlighting the continuing threat of mines by retracing the tour of an Angolan minefield undertaken by Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Frenchman has arrived in the war-ravaged African country for a two-day trip arranged by the French Red Cross and its UK counterpart.


The BBC's Africa Correspondent Jeremy Vine: "Mines problems has not gone away"
Ginola is visiting the Red Cross orthopaedic programme in Luanda, where false limbs are manufactured.

The Tottenham Hotspur star is to attend a game of football with the survivors of landmine explosions.

He is also touring a mission clearing some of the eight million mines - one for each Angolan man, woman and child - left behind from a bitter civil war.


[ image: Princess Diana talking to Sandra an Angolan amputee, during her visit]
Princess Diana talking to Sandra an Angolan amputee, during her visit
Ginola, 31, will don body armour and protective headgear as worn by the Princess during a famous trip to Angola.

A British Red Cross spokeswoman said: "He is trying to highlight the plight of landmine survivors and the importance of mine clearance, with a view to encouraging fund-raising.

"It remains a massively important issue. There are eight million to 11 million mines in the country, one for each member of the population."


The BBC's Jeremy Vine says the landmine campaign needs reinvigoration
The trip is also highlighting the importance of football in rehabilitating landmine survivors.

Around a third of those injured or killed are under 16 and in the worst affected countries - Angola, Cambodia and Bosnia-Herzegovina - around 15 mines are being laid for every one removed.


[ image: Ginola in his more familiar role on the football pitch]
Ginola in his more familiar role on the football pitch
Ginola, a father-of-two, says he feels for the Angolan children in particular and wants to keep the issue in the headlines.

The Ottawa Treaty on the banning of anti-personnel mines was signed by 121 nations in December 1997.
George Alagiah discusses Diana's landmines legacy with John Gray, of the British Red Cross.

The treaty will come into force when it has been ratified by 40 states, but so far only 20 - including the UK - have done so.

The US, Russia, China and most Middle East countries have refused to sign the treaty.



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