The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) states the new use of landmines is "unusually rare" but fighting in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen has made this the second year in a row where mines cause large numbers of casualties. 19659002] The ICBL declared in its annual report on Thursday that there were 8,605 casualties, 2,089 of them dead, by mines in 2016. This includes homemade bombs and bomb-activated weapons such as mines.
Among the victims, 78 percent were civilians. The victims included the highest number of child victims so far. This mine attack took place in 52 countries.
Loren Persi, editor of victims and aid for the victims at Landmine Monitor points out, some intense conflicts, totally ignoring the safety of civilians, have caused an enormous number of mine casualties for years second in a row. This, he said, indicates the need for all states to join the Mine Ban Treaty and to increase aid for mine victims.
Under the 1999 international agreement, nations agreed not to use or manufacture antipersonnel landmines, destroyed mine reserves which were still there, providing aid to the victims, and clearing mines in their territory within 10 years after joining the treaty.
On Wednesday, the ICBL accepted Sri Lanka as the 163th country that adhered fully to the treaty and expressed hope other countries in the region will join the treaty.
The report Thursday mentions Myanmar and Syria are two countries whose troops actively planted mines during the past year. The two countries did not join the mine ban agreement.
The report also mentioned 61 countries and areas contaminated by mines until November last year. And although 33 of them join the mine ban agreement, only Chile, Mauritania, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo are expected to meet the deadline for clearing mines in their area. [uh/ab]