20 Years after Ottawa: Landmines still Destroy Lives


It is 20 years since the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines was adopted, but the legacy of these devastating weapons lives on. Landmines need just an instant to create a catastrophic injury that lasts a lifetime. And for decades, landmines were used in huge numbers, all over the world. In the years before the Convention, Erik Tollefsen, the ICRC’s head of Weapons Contamination, remembers mine clearance as an almost hopeless task.

“When I first got involved with landmine clearance and clearance of explosive remnants of war back in the early 90s in Lebanon and Bosnia during the Balkan wars, it was like the work of Sisyphus,” he explains.

“Even though we were working as hard as possible to remove landmines and other weapons, more mines were put into the ground, we saw the statistics of victims rising from year to year.”

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Source: Relief Web