ZIMBABWE : Army embarks on de-mining exercise (Zimbabwe)
Johannesburg (AND) The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has says it has embarked on a fresh exercise to clear landmines from parts of the country's eastern border with Mozambique.
According to ZNA public relations officer Colonel Ben Ncube, the de-mining exercise will cover a 50km stretch between the Sango Border Post and Cross Corner Minefields in the south-eastern corner of the country.
Col Ncube said the clearance would free up previously inaccessible parts to border community villages and facilitate the free movement of people between Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
The ZNA, which began the de-mining exercise in the late 1980s with help from the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) said it was going to carry out the exercise using its own resources. It has already accomplished other tasks despite the cutting of US-EU aid in the diplomatic rows of 2000-2003.
"We are doing this project using our won personnel and resources. The Zimbabwe Defence Forces Engineers have just finished work on de-mining the Victoria-Falls 'Mlibizi (Binga) area and the liberated land has been handed back to the people.
The Sango Border Post de-mining exercise is also meant to facilitate the development of new Limpopo Trans-Frontier Park, an extensive project aimed at enhancing conservation and facilitating tourism between Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
Besides those strewn along the border with Mozambique, Zimbabwe still has extensive minefields spanning sections of the northern border towards Kariba. A lot of minefields, containing anti-personnel landmines and ploughshares, still occupy a lot of land along the northern Zambezi Valley.
The mines in the two zones were planted by the Rhodesian security forces in the late 1970s to stop liberation war guerrilla incursions into the country from bases in Zambia and Mozambique.
Von: 9.5.2006 by Oscar Nkala, www.andnetwork.com