Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nepal is Landmine Free! Totally, I hope!!!

Great news today for Nepal! The BBC reported today that Nepal is landmine free! This comes five years after the end of a 10 year long civil war that have cost many their lives and have left many people disabled. However, it was unclear to me from the BBC article if Nepal is free of landmines placed by the army as well as those placed by the rebel forces. So I did a little digging. According to the Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor's Mine Ban Policy for Nepal, it states that the country's "November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) committed the government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist rebels to halt the use of landmines, and required the parties to assist each other to mark and clear mines and booby-traps." So that being said, I'm hoping that indeed most if not all the landmines have been located and detonated. And although Nepal has not yet signed the Mine Ban (Ottawa) Treaty (neither has the U.S.), I also learned that in 2009 the Monitor removed Nepal from their list of mine producers.

The human costs associated with wars is felt for many years even with cease-fires or peace agreements. Landmines continue to injure and kill many civilians, but the work that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines has been doing over the years has made a difference in bringing this issue to the forefront. What they've done in Nepal helps us get one step closer to a landmine-free world.


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