OAS Continues Supporting Anti-Landmine Efforts In Honduras (Honduras)


, the Office of Humanitarian Mine Action of the Organization of American States (OAS) will continue supporting that country's efforts to respond to reports about the presence of landmines


(15.05.2007)

At the request of the government of Honduras, the Office of Humanitarian
Mine Action of the Organization of American States (OAS) will continue
supporting that country's efforts to respond to reports about the presence
of landmines, documented through preventive education efforts in the area
bordering Nicaragua.

The Director of the Office of Humanitarian Mine Action, William McDonough,
indicated that the OAS, in coordination with Honduran authorities, will
address seven pending complaints about antipersonnel landmines located in
the Aniwas and San Andrés communities, in the departments of Olancho and El
Paraíso. McDonough reaffirmed the OAS commitment "to continue supporting
Honduras in its efforts to attend to landmine survivors and to address
complaints that are reported, with the help of the international community."


In its October 2004 "Declaration on the Humanitarian Demining Program in
Honduras," the Honduran government stated that it had met with its
obligations under Article 5 of the Ottawa Convention, which includes the
destruction of landmines in all suspicious areas identified at that time by
the Honduran authorities. The government's actions have also fulfilled the
mandates of OAS General Assembly resolutions on Humanitarian Mine Action,
established since 1993.

Since 2006, with support form the United States government, the OAS has
carried out preventive education efforts that raised landmine awareness in
18 communities of the Paraíso, Danlí and Trojes municipalities, in the
department of El Paraíso, and Catacamas, in Olancho. Those communities are
located within five kilometers of minefields located in Nicaragua. During
this process, 16 reports were documented verifying the presence of 41
landmines and 136 explosive artifacts.

In order to provide a prompt response and work in coordination with the
national authorities, the OAS--with resources provided by the Italian
government--supported efforts carried out recently by the Armed Forces of
Honduras to destroy these artifacts which threatened citizens' security.

Similarly, with financing from the United States, the OAS has been providing
assistance to landmine accident survivors in Honduras for their physical
rehabilitation. From August 2006 through March 2007, the OAS program
provided rehabilitation services to the 40 survivors identified thus far.

The last registered landmine accident to claim a Honduran victim took place
on November 25, 2005. Jesús Cruz Velásquez, from the San Francisco de la
Lodosa community, died instantly while traveling through the Nicaraguan
border region on a hunting trip.




Von: 17.04.07 www.icbl.org

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