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Today's Mine Action News (24 April 2013)

Posted on April, 25 2013

AFRICA

Andorra
Andorra Becomes Latest Country to Join the Convention on Cluster Munitions
[CMC] Andorra has become the latest country to join the global ban on cluster munitions, after depositing its instrument of accession on 9 April.  Andorra will become the 81st State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions when its accession enters into force on 1 October 2013 in accord with the waiting period mandated by the Convention. 

Mali
Suicide Blast in Timbuktu as Landmine Kills Two
[France 24] A suicide bomber detonated himself at the gates of Timbuktu on Saturday, while a landmine blast killed two soldiers in another part of northern Mali, months after French and national forces drove out Islamist fighters from the region.

South Sudan
South Sudan Mine Action Briefing (Apr 2012)
[UNMAS South Sudan] To mark the International Day for Mine Awareness, UNMAS launched an exhibit of photos by Emmy award-winning photographer Marco Grob.

ASIA
Landmines Still Blight Southeast Asia
[Diplomat]Hundreds of people across Southeast Asia – often children or impoverished villagers looking for scrap metal –continue to be maimed or killed every year by land mines and unexploded bombs, despite a concerted effort by governments to rid the region of the scourge. 

Afghanistan
Gunmen Kidnap Nine Afghan Deminers: Officials 
[AFP] Eighteen Afghans working for a demining charity were kidnapped at gunpoint by men on motorcycles in eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on Thursday, officials said.

Lao PDR
The Women Clearing Laos of Unexploded Bombs
[Financial Times] Unexploded ordnance - dropped over Laos during the Vietnam war - is still injuring and killing its people. Photographer Tessa Bunney travels to one of the worst-affected areas to see the land being cleared of mines, and meets an extraordinary bomb disposal team.

Myanmar
Myanmar’s landmines hinder return of displaced
[IRIN] Landmines in Myanmar's southeastern Kayin and Kayah states and Bago division, and in the northern Shan and Kachin states, threaten the return of more than 450,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). 
 
Thailand
FEATURE: Kinmen Attracts Tourists with Landmine Park
[Taipei Times] Now a peaceful outpost after decades as a heavily fortified anti-communist bastion, Kinmen County is attracting tourists from Taiwan, China and elsewhere with an unusual new park featuring land mines.
 
Vietnam
Vietnam Suggests ASEAN Set up UXO Expert Group 
[Tuoitrenews] As an initiative to resolve the serious consequences and threats of unexploded bombs, mines and explosives leftover from wars, Vietnam has proposed that ASEAN set up a group of experts in charge of the field.

 

AMERICAS
Colombia
OAS Signs Cooperation Agreement with United Nations for Humanitarian Mine Action Activities in Colombia
[OAS] The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, this week signed a cooperation agreement with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), regarding humanitarian mine action activities in Colombia.

EUROPE
Germany
Dangerous Depths: German Waters Teeming with WWII Munitions
[Spiegel] More than 50 million bombs, shells, detonators and cartridges from World War II are rusting away on the floor of the North and Baltic Seas or are washing up on beaches. Authorities are opting not to remove the ordnance -- and hoping no one gets hurt.

MIDDLE EAST
Syria
DIY Weapons of the Syrian Rebels
[The Atlantic] Nearly two years after the start of Syria's popular uprising, the conflict has evolved into a slow-moving, brutal civil war with many players and no clear end in sight. 

GLOBAL
Global Campaign to Ban Killer Robots Models Landmine Treaty
[IPS] When international human rights groups launch a global campaign next week to ban “fully autonomous weapons”, they will follow in the footsteps of the highly-successful 1990s collective worldwide effort to ban anti-personnel landmines and blinding lasers.

The United Nations’s New Mine Action Strategy
[Landmine in Africa Blog] The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), on behalf of the United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action, released in March a six-year strategy for United Nations actions within the realm of mine action.

 

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