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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 08:02 GMT
Campaign targets cluster bombs
Landmine Action director Richard Lloyd displays a cluster bomb
Lloyd says unexploded cluster bombs are more deadly than mines
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund is calling for a new international law aimed at curbing the use of cluster bombs.

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) kills more children than anti-personnel mines in war-torn countries, according to a new report by Landmine Action.

We should like to see the UK Government demonstrate convincing leadership

Andrew Purkis
Diana's Memorial Fund is urging Prime Minister Tony Blair to lead international efforts to bring the problem under control.

The Diana Fund and Landmine Action want the international community to introduce a UN protocol that would make those who use explosive munitions responsible for clearing UXO once the conflict ends.

"This is powerful new evidence that tough humanitarian measures are needed to prevent and clean up the lethal litter of war, especially unexploded bomblets," said Andrew Purkis, chief executive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

"We want strong action by the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, and, in the meantime, a moratorium on the use, sale and transport of cluster bombs.

"We should like to see the UK Government demonstrate convincing leadership."

Report findings

The report found that in Kosovo between June 1999 and May 2001, 60% of victims were killed by UXO compared with 37% by landmines.

Children were more likely to be victims of UXO than landmines because they pick up ordnance without knowing what it is.

"UXO are a forgotten but lethal legacy of every war," said Richard Lloyd, director of Landmine Action. "Thousands of people around the world must live with the constant threat as they go about their daily lives.

"Not only is there the fear of death and injury but the presence of the explosives can also affect the use of the land and infrastructure, impeding reconstruction and development, and causing economic and social hardship."

See also:

31 Oct 01 | South Asia
Aid agency condemns cluster bombs
25 Oct 01 | South Asia
Call for cluster bombs halt
05 Sep 00 | Europe
ICRC calls for cluster bomb ban
28 Oct 01 | Media reports
Radio warns Afghans over food parcels
09 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Vietnamese children killed by cluster bomb
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