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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 22:46 GMT 23:46 UK
Angola to ban landmines

The Angolan government says it has ratified an international treaty banning landmines.

Officials in Angola, one of the countries worst affected by landmines, said the decision to join the 1997 Ottawa Convention was a signal to the international community that it is firmly committed to the elimination of anti-personnel mines.

Three months ago, the government signed a peace accord with the Unita rebel group to end more than 25 years of civil war, during which all sides used landmines extensively. The Ottawa Convention prohibits the use, manufacture, and trade in anti-personnel mines.

The BBC correspondent in Luanda said that as Angola returns to peace, mines are still preventing displaced people from returning to their areas of origin, and preventing aid agencies from reaching those in need.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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