Aswat al-Iraq reports that the cost of clearing the estimated 25 million mines from Iraq will be around $12 billion.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had highlighted the work of United Nations mine action personnel around the world in preventing landmines and unexploded ordnance from causing harm long after conflicts have ended, and transforming danger zones into productive land.
In Iraq, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Martin Kobler, drew attention to “Iraqi women, men and children who have lost their lives or limbs, who have become blind, or who cannot move freely because of landmines.”
“Today the United Nations joins Iraqis and Iraqi friends to call for an Iraq free of landmines by 2018,” Kobler said, referring to Iraq’s commitment in 2008 under the Ottawa Convention, to never again use, produce, acquire, or export anti-personnel mines.
Iraq is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world, with unexploded ordnance covering 1,730 square kilometres, affecting one in every 20 Iraqis.
(Sources: Aswat al-Iraq, UN)
[Photo Credit: Mines Advisory Group]