Thursday, April 3, 2008

UN Appeals For Help To Rid Iraq of Landmines

Go to Agence France Presse original
Published on Thursday, April 3, 2008 by Agence France Presse
UN Appeals For Help To Rid Iraq of Landmines
The United Nations on Thursday urged more efforts to clear Iraq of landmines, which it said threaten the population and complicate reconstruction and development projects.

“In addition to insecurity, Iraqis live amidst one of the greatest concentrations of landmines, unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war in the world,” said a joint statement by the UN Development Programme and the UN Children’s Fund.

“Explosive remnants of war contamination in Iraq is so widespread that several development programmes are being hampered,” it added.

Marking the International Day for Mine Awareness, they warned that unexploded ordnance is “of higher risk to Iraqi children, who often mistake them for toys or harmless objects to play with.

“A quarter of Iraq’s 565 unexploded ordnance victims assessed in 2006 were under 18,” they said.

At least 55 million cluster bomb sub-munitions were dropped on Iraq in the past two wars, which would make the country “the world’s most contaminated country with this deadly unexploded ordnance.”


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