Posted by: africanpressorganization | 1 April 2009

For a Sudan free of landmines

 


 

For a Sudan free of landmines

 

KARTHUM, Sudan, April 1, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — For a Sudan free of landmines.

“I have visited many countries that face the scourge of landmines. I have seen the devastation caused by these indiscriminate weapons, which hamper reconstruction, damage the environment and cause grievous injuries and death for decades after conflicts end”. Those were the words of United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, as he officially opened the celebrations for International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action this week in New York.

 

On 4th April 2009, Sudan will join the world in remembering the affliction of millions of women, men, boys and girls who are victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

 

The people of Sudan have suffered greatly from the impact of landmines and ERW for many years. Although the number of casualties has significantly decreased since 2002, mines continue to kill and maim civilians everyday, reduce agricultural activity and prevent many communities from making a livelihoods.

 

However, the picture is looking brighter today. Since 2002, the United Nations Mine Action Office has been working to reduce the dangers caused my landmines and ERW. Together with partners from the Mine Action Sector in Sudan, they have opened more than 29,000 km of roads, cleared 45 million square metres of land. Over 16,000 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines have been destroyed, as well as 800,000 ERW. More than 2.7 million people have received education against the threat of mines/ERW, and victim assistance programs allow survivors to start new businesses and support themselves and their families.

 

It is important to remember the stories behind these numbers. Each kilometre of road opened means that a farmer can now bring his produce to the market to sell. New clinics and new schools can be built. Displaced populations can return to their land and rebuild their home.

 

To commemorate the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in Sudan, the National Mine Action Centre and the South Sudan Demining Authority, together with the United Nations and partners from the Mine Action sector will organize events in Khartoum and Juba.

 

On 4th April, join us in Khartoum, at the Friendship Hall from 9am to 6pm, or in Juba at Buluk Square from 2.30pm to 6pm. On this International Day, we will renew our commitment to carrying out the life-saving work of mine action and working together towards a Sudan free of landmines and ERW.

 

 

 

SOURCE : United Nations Mine Action Office


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