Britische Abgeordnete forcieren Kampf gegen Landminen

Da 2011 mehr Antipersonenminen zum Einsatz kamen als in den Jahren zuvor, gründen britische Abgeordnete und Mines Advisory Group eine fraktionsübergreifende Arbeitsgruppe im Kampf gegen die Landminenplage. (in Englisch)

(c) medico international


MPs launch group to tackle landmines

Survey shows the use of anti-personnel mines in 2011 was the highest for seven years

A crossparty group of MPs and peers will be launched on Thursday to combat the growing scourge of landmines, which kill and maim thousands of innocent people every year.

The group, chaired by Pauline Latham, the Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, is being set up in the wake of a survey showing that the use of anti-personnel mines in 2011 was the highest for seven years.

"This danger must far outweigh their military effectiveness," Latham said. "Through this new all-party parliamentary group on landmines and unexploded weapons of conflict, we will be holding a number of investigations into their current use, the efforts of agencies to clear existing mines, and the ways we can provide them with every support."

The latest report from Landmine and Cluster Bomb Monitor identifies a growing use of landmines and highlights new laying of mines by Israel, Libya and Burma.

Use by non-government armed groups was confirmed in four countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, Burma and Pakistan. The report identified 12 producers of antipersonnel mines - China, Cuba, India, Iran, Burma, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, the US and Vietnam.

The UN estimates more than 110m active landmines are scattered in 70 countries around the world.

The parliamentary initiative is backed by the Mines Advisory Group a leading mine clearance organisation and co-laureate of the Nobel peace prize.

Nick Roseveare, the group's chief executive, said: "Landmines are often called the sleeping enemy. They are patient and indiscriminate, remaining in the ground long after the conflict is over. And, as with cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance, inquisitive children and innocent civilians are often the most vulnerable."

He said the group had always acknowledged that the legacy of landmines was more than just the threat of maiming and killing people. "Contaminated land is a physical obstacle to economic development, trapping families in poverty," he said.

Conflicts in Angola, Cambodia and Laos ended many years ago but the need for safe land for food production, for trade and for family life was as great as ever, said Roseveare.

"There are also problems caused by more recent conflicts such as Libya, where the Mines Advisory Group is leading efforts to help people safely rebuild their lives and reduce accidental injury of children and civilians living with the lethal litter of unexploded ordnance".

The parliamentary group's launch will be supported by war photographer and landmine survivor, Giles Duley, who lost three limbs in a landmine explosion in Afghanistan last year.

Source: The Guardian

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