Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines

Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines

Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines

Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines

Synopsis

This book provides a detailed history of the global movement to ban anti-personnel landmines (APL), marking the first case of a successful worldwide civil society movement to end the use of an entire category of weapons.

Excerpt

It was a typically hot and dry day in the Somali desert. I arrived at the white, concrete three-room office at the edge of the city of Lugh—as usual—early in the morning before the heat chased people backed to their abodes, huts, and tents. It was Thursday, and I needed to achieve certain project tasks and run a few errands before the end of the day because the next day—Friday—was the Islamic holy day, when most Muslims took time to rest and worship, and did not go to work.

On that morning, December 16, 1993, I was a humanitarian loan officer in Somalia servicing a community devastated by years of drought and war. I had taken the Somalia position over better-paying posts in moreattractive locations because of the tremendous human suffering that I had seen on television, because I had spent much of my recent life working with former nomads affected by drought and war, and because my parents encouraged public service. When processing and disbursing the loans to Somalis to assist them with their lives, I made it a point to say that the money came from the people of the United States of America.

I was so determined to get as much accomplished that day in order to travel to Kenya on Friday so I could call my fiancée, Kim, who was living with my brothers in Boulder, Colorado. She was preparing to join me in Africa, and ask her whether I should continue my job in Somalia or accept a position as an assistant director of the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan. The Somalia security situation was deteriorating rapidly and cascading into greater violence because of the “Battle of Mogadishu” two months earlier . . .

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