Clearing the Fields: Solutions to the Global Land Mines Crisis

Clearing the Fields: Solutions to the Global Land Mines Crisis

Clearing the Fields: Solutions to the Global Land Mines Crisis

Clearing the Fields: Solutions to the Global Land Mines Crisis

Excerpt

In the fertile grazing grounds of Somaliland mothers now tie toddlers to trees so that the young children cannot crawl, innocently but dangerously, out among the more than 1 million mines that have been haphazardly laid there over the last decade. Camels, and the youngsters and adolescents who tend them, are less fortunate, since to survive in the Somali savannah, animals must endlessly search for water and nourishment. The fields are littered with camel carcasses, and stone mounds mark the graves of herders. The towns are crowded with amputees. Mine injuries have become one of the major health hazards in that sad country, reaching epidemic proportions in the north.

Numerous international conferences, congressional and United Nations hearings, and extensive media coverage have heightened our awareness of the growing problems posed by land mines. These efforts have documented the horror of mine injuries and the vast—indeed, global— scope of the crisis. The educational process, however, has almost become an end in itself, with articles repeating articles, using the same data in an orgy of condemnations. But the emphasis has rarely, if ever, been on possible solutions. One has been expected to find solace merely in continuing to express outrage. However, the growing number of mine victims, if . . .

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