IEDs: Tackling Terrorists’ Weapon of War


Some of the most memorable images of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, show her wearing a protective suit while touring a minefield in Angola in 1997 to raise awareness of the devastating effects of land mines.

After meeting 13-year-old Sandra Thijika, who lost her leg after stepping on a land mine, the princess told the media, “I’d read the statistics that Angola has the highest percentage of amputees anywhere in the world…that one person in every 333 had lost a limb, most of them through land mine explosions.” She used the occasion to call for a global effort to address the problem.

Two years later, on March 1, 1999, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (also known as the Ottawa Mines Ban Treaty or simply the Ottawa Treaty) entered into force.

By 2018, 164 states, including 50 African states, had signed up, committing to “not using, developing, producing, acquiring, retaining, stockpiling, or transferring anti-personnel landmines.”

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Source:  Inter Press Service