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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
'Slow' mine clearance costs lives
MAG mine clearer in Iraq (photo: Sean Sutton/MAG)
Millions of unexploded mines need to be cleared
Landmine campaign groups warn that inefficient clearing of unexploded mines is still putting lives at risk.

"Delays in funding mean more people are at risk of being blown up," Richard Lloyd, director of Landmine Action told BBC News Online.

According to a global treaty banning antipersonnel mines, governments who sign up must clear all mines on their land within 10 years.

There are believed to be about 200m unexploded landmines around the world.

According to the Landmine Action at least 26,000 people are killed or injured by mines every year.

Stockpiles

"Communities are not able to reconstruct their lives after war," said Mr Lloyd.

"If governments don't spend money more wisely than they do at present, we won't meet the target," he said.

WHERE ARE THE LANDMINES?
A woman's hand holding a mine
Afghanistan
Angola
Bosnia
Cambodia
Iraq
Laos
Mozambique
Somalia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Source: Landmine Action
The Antipersonnel Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, entered into force in March 1999 and prohibits the manufacture, trade and use of antipersonnel landmines.

It also obliges countries to destroy stockpiles and clear their own mined territory.

Landmines and other unexploded war remnants are buried in current and former conflict zones in more than 82 countries worldwide, according to the BBC's Mike Wooldridge.

Nearly $1.7bn has been spent on clearing land mines, raising awareness of their dangers and treating victims, they say.

But according to a report published by Landmine Action and the [Princess] Diana Memorial Fund all too often mine-clearing is poorly targeted, sometimes failing to address minefields that pose the greatest risk to the civilian population.

Funding should, the report says, be channelled directly to mining agencies that work with local affected communities, rather than solely through the United Nations.

The group also says clearance programmes should ensure greater involvement of local communities and be more integrated with broader development work.




SEE ALSO:
'Cyber Oscar' for landmine project
11 Dec 03  |  Technology
Colombia's deadly 'silent soldiers'
30 Oct 03  |  Americas
Another big step forward
25 Sep 03  |  Wales
Landmine stocks 'over 200 million'
10 Sep 03  |  In Depth


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