Magazine article Arms Control Today

Mozambique Declared Free of Landmines

Magazine article Arms Control Today

Mozambique Declared Free of Landmines

Article excerpt

Mozambique is "free of all known landmines," Foreign Minister Oldemiro Júlio Marques Balói announced at a public event in the capital city of Maputo on Sept. 17.

The deadly anti-personnel mines, laid by all sides during a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1992, made Mozambique into one of the most mined countries in the world. The government estimated recently that as many as 10,900 people had been killed or injured by landmines in the past 40 years.

The Mozambican landmine removal is "an impressive achievement," said Megan Burke, director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, in a Sept. 17 statement. "It also shows that if the right resources are employed in the right way, the majority of contaminated states can complete mine clearance within the next ten years."

The first large-scale mine clearance effort in Mozambique was launched by the United Nations in 1993. The Halo Trust, a Scottish nongovernmental organization dedicated to landmine clearance, supported the effort. …

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