August 26, 2016

Still further to go on landmines

Aye Min Soe

Deadly landmine explosions continue, especially in Kayin and Kayah states, killing and injuring more than 600 people every year, according to the Peace Myanmar Foundation, which is lending assistance to landmine victims in Myanmar.
No maps or guides are available for the location of these landmines, which is posing a hindrance to the clearance of  landmines in armed conflict areas.
Landmines have not yet been removed in 45 townships across the country. It is encouraging, however, to know that the government is planning to clear landmines  in cooperation with international agencies.
Besides, Dr Win Myat Aye, the Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, said the ministry is committed to eradication of landmines. Currently, around 60,000 people have been rendered disabled, with amputated legs and arms, with many others still awaiting surgery to remove their mangled appendages.
Landmines can be found in seven out of 10 of ethnic areas, and it can take up to 10 years to get rid the  off the landmines. The country is ranked third in the world for landmine danger, according to the Norwegian People’s Aid organisation.
To start the work, rules and regulations are urgently needed and MPs are obliged  to quickly enact  such directives.
For the safety of the people in  the high-risk areas, the government should  give priority to landmine clearance. The MPs should bring  the issue to the parliament as quickly as possible.


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