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Today's Mine Action News (17th May 2017)

Posted on May, 17 2017

AFRICA

Angloa
Land Mines in Angola
[NYT] “In an Angolan Town, Land Mines Still Lurk ‘Behind Every Bush’ ” (Cuito Cuanavale Journal, April 27) is right to highlight the risk of waning funding for Angola’s mission to clear its land mines. Funding has fallen by 86 percent in the last decade, leading to a proportionate reduction in de-mining staff.

AMERICAS

Colombia
GOBIERNO DE ITALIA ANUNCIA APOYO FINANCIERO PARA DESMINADO HUMANITARIO EN COLOMBIA A TRAVÉS DE UNMAS (SERVICIO DE LAS NACIONES UNIDAS PARA LA ACCIÓN CONTRA MINAS)
[UNMAS] Los recursos serán destinados a llevar a cabo operaciones de Desminado Humanitario en el municipio de Leiva, en el Departamento de Nariño y para continuar la financiación italiana para la asistencia técnica que brinda UNMAS al sector de desminado humanitario en Colombia

Medellin Race Raises Awareness of Landmine Victims in Colombia
[tetesur] Thousands of Colombians participated Sunday in a friendly race in the northwest city of Medellin in the "Lend Your Leg" run, focused on the victims of landmines in the country in the wake of a long-running civil war.

ASIA

Afghanistan
Electric Hand Allows Afghan Amputee to Perform Daily Tasks
[USAID] Abdul Khaliq is a double amputee who lives in a small house with his family in Afghanistan’s Laghman province. Unlike most of the estimated 43,500 amputees in the country, however, he can grasp objects and perform routine daily tasks with an electric hand—one of the first prosthetics of its kind in Afghanistan.

Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III): Monthly Status Update – April 2017
[USAID/UNMAS] Highlights: Held 48 immediate assistance distribution events in various parts of the country. A total of 372 immediate assistance packages were delivered
reaching 3,731 beneficiaries (1,935 males, 1,796 females).

Cambodia
Head of Cambodian Mine Action Centre Echoes PM’s Warning of Unrest
[Phnom Penh Post] Government official Heng Ratana took to Facebook yesterday, reminding the public that Cambodia has enjoyed “unprecedented” peace, and drawing a sharp contrast with countries like Central African Republic, where four Cambodian UN peacekeepers were killed this week.

Gaza
UNMAS Clears Last Known Unexploded Aerial Bomb from Gaza
[UNMAS] In April 2017, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) cleared the last known accessible unexploded aerial bomb in Gaza, marking an important milestone in addressing the legacy of unexploded ordnance contamination in Gaza. Since the 2014 conflict Operation Protective Edge, UNMAS has cleared and destroyed 29 tonnes of explosive material derived from 149 unexploded aerial bombs in Gaza. 

Lao PDR
Laos Village Takes Novel Approach to Recycling Explosives
[Irish Times] The village of Ban Napia in the Xieng Khuang province of Laos has become a tourist destination in recent years. It’s not because the village is particularly pretty, or has any of the ancillary services often associated with tourists, such as bars and restaurants. Yet it’s routinely included on the itinerary of most tours that go out of Phonsavan, the nearest large town.

Bulky, Medieval-Looking Stumps: Laos Amputees Make Their Own Prosthetics
[Irish Times] There are dozens of prosthetic legs dangling over my head. Some are homemade, bulky, medieval-looking stumps of carved wood, with buckles and thick leather straps attached to them. Others look like large versions of dolls’ legs: stiff pink plastic. They are the kind of prosthetics you expect to see in a museum, legacies of a distant past, where medical support for amputees was far cruder than it is today.

Lebanon
UN Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag and EU Ambassador Christina Lassen Welcome Lebanon’s Mine Action Efforts
[UNSCOL] United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Christina Lassen visited the Regional Mine Action Center (RMAC) in Nabatieh today.  The visit included a briefing by Brig. Gen. Ziad Nasr, Director of the Lebanon Mine Action Center, on progress made in the implementation of Lebanon’s National Mine Action Strategy, including in the clearing of mines, cluster munitions, unexploded ordnances and all explosive remnants of war.

EUROPE

Germany
50,000 Evacuate Hanover While Unexploded WWII Bombs Are Disabled
[Atlantic] German authorities in Hanover are evacuating 50,000 residents, or about 10 percent of the city, so experts can safely diffuse five unexploded World War II bombs. The evacuation will begin Sunday, and is expected to be the second largest of its kind in Germany.

Ukraine
Ukraine Ahead of Syria and Afghanistan by Anti-Vehicle Mine Deaths: Report
[Newsweek] Ukraine suffered the most antivehicle mine (AVM) blasts and the highest number of casualties in 2016, ahead of both Syria and Afghanistan, according to new independent research.

GLOBAL

CROSSROADS | UN works to remove landmines worldwide | Tuesday, May 2nd 2017
[i24] UNMAS Chief of Programme Management Paul Heslop on the "Crossroads" show. 

Diana contra as minas: a causa de uma princesa que mudou o mundo
[Estadao] Há pouco mais de 20 anos, a então mulher mais famosa do mundo caminhava por um campo contaminado por minas terrestres em Angola diante de uma centena de jornalistas. A atitude de Diana, princesa de Gales, mudaria para sempre a maneira como o mundo lidava com o problema das minas terrestres, dando a ele mais visibilidade e o comprometimento de mais de 160 governos com um tratado para extinguir o armamento. 

Seeking More Coherent Implementation in Post-Conflict Security: Can We Better Align SSR, DDR, SALW and Mine Action?
[GICHD] Post-conflict peacebuilding is now characterised by an established range of targeted security programmes: Security sector reform (SSR), disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), small arms and light weapons (SALW) control, and mine action. 

The Guardian View on Weapons That Wait: Clear Them Now - Editorial
[Guardian] The evacuation of 50,000 people from Hannover this weekend, following the discovery of five unexploded second world war bombs, reminds us that conflicts can have a deadly impact long after the fighting ends. But while the German city’s residents have been inconvenienced briefly, millions of people around the world have been displaced for the foreseeable future, and in many cases permanently, by unexploded ordnance and “weapons that wait”. They are the lucky ones; thousands are killed annually.

Fishers Equipment Helps Locate Weapons and Explosives
[Marine Technology] Before 1970 the widely accepted solution for disposal of old munitions, typically called unexploded ordnance (UXO), was to dump them into rivers, lakes and oceans. Today we know this creates a multitude of problems, the worst of which are pollution and the risk of an explosion. Many people have already lost their lives to these underwater booby traps. The uncertainties surrounding their precise location and degree of decomposition, makes attempting to recover these dangerous devices an even more difficult task.

 

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