Posted by: africanpressorganization | 30 August 2008

Chad / Unexploded ordnance kills one, injures five / 95 victims this year



Chad / Unexploded ordnance kills one, injures five / 95 victims this year


NDJAMENA, Chad, August 30, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Unexploded ordnance (UXO) has killed one child and

injured five on 28 August in eastern Chad’s village of Tine, on the border with the Sudan’s Darfur region.

This brings the current year’s total toll of victims of mines and UXO in the country to 95, of whom 17 were

killed and 78 injured, the majority of them being children.

“This is one more occurrence, in a fatal wave of UXO explosions affecting innocent civilians and especially

children”, said Jean-François Basse, Child Protection specialist at the United Nations Children Fund

(UNICEF) in the Chadian capital N’Djamena.

According to available reports, the UXO exploded when the children started playing with it, unaware of the

danger it posed. The six affected children were taken to the hospital in the town of Iriba. But during the

journey, which lasted over seven hours due to the heavy rains, one of them died. On arrival at the hospital,

two of the five surviving children had limbs amputated. “This is a sadly frequent event in Chad”, said

Christine Jamet, Chief of Mission of Médecins Sans Frontières – Luxembourg (MSF-L) in Chad. MSF-L

supports the hospital, and provided medical care to the children, who are now in a stable condition.

The latest previous UXO explosion occurred in a crowded market in the Chadian capital N’Djamena on 04

August 2008. Four persons were killed, and 30 injured. “This is just one of the dramatic aspects of continued

civil warfare in this country”, said Eliane Duthoit, from the Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad.

“Most of the problems are in the east and south-east of the country, but also in other areas affected by the

latest rounds of fighting, including indeed the capital”, said Eva Faye of the United Nations Office for Project

Services (UNOPS), who is working to support the Chadian National Demining Centre in clearing the

country’s territory of mines and UXO.

Chad’s Humanitarian Appeal for 2008 includes three projects in the mine action sector, requesting a total

amount of $ 1.04 million, but none of them are underway, due to a total lack of funding for these activities.

However, thanks to funds provided by the Government of Canada, the United Nations Development

Programme (UNDP) and UNOPS have been supporting the Chadian authorities since 1998 in devising mine

action initiatives. Additionally, UNICEF conducts awareness campaigns among refugees, internally

displaced persons (IDPs), and local communities, on the dangers posed by mines and UXO.


SOURCE : Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad


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