Zimbabwe without landmines: a crucial step towards development

Lying dormant until triggered by a victim and intended to incapacitate, landmines maim civilians and render vast tracks of land unusable. Mines and unexploded ordnance leave a terrible legacy of war, long after the guns have fallen silent. Hidden from sight, they continue to kill and injure innocent civilians going about their daily lives, especially children. Their very presence hinders development and prevents families and communities from being able to return to their land and rebuild. Zimbabwe knows the long-lasting suffering that mines cause.

Today marks the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Signing on to 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 Convention, almost 22 years ago demonstrated Zimbabwe’s commitment to meeting its ambitious target of becoming mine-impact free by 2025. We congratulate the Government of Zimbabwe and partners for reducing the land mine contamination to just over forty square kilometres at the end of 2019, according to the Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre (ZIMAC). At the end of the war in the late 1970s, landmines covered more than three hundred square kilometres of Zimbabwean land.

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Source:  U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe