LGVN Humanitarian / Animal - Landmines
post war, silent, underground killer
see it - you can't hear it - you can't smell it - and the conflict
in your country may have been over for years. But landmines are
killing or seriously maiming both humans and animals in war-torn
countries across the world every day.
Across the world,
one person is killed every 20 minutes as a result of landmines and
unexploded bombs. This adds up to around 26,000 each year. Many
hundreds are also severely maimed every day, usually with a loss
of limbs and other injuries to major organs. Landmines are produced
as "weapons of war," but only 10 percent of landmine victims are
military personnel. The other 90 percent are innocent civilians
- mostly women and children. Besides the victims, millions of people
are afraid to venture from their homes. Hundreds of millions of
these hidden killers lay usually invisible just underneath the earth
or covered by foliage - on roadsides, paths, fields and woodlands
People are unable to plant their fields or even walk to the clinic
or visit friends, Children can't walk to school or play in their
silent and deadly across many countries of the world, and in most
cases no one knows exactly where these indiscriminately strewn killers
are. There are even millions of mines left over from World War 2.
Although slightly easier to detect, because they were made of metal,
these 60 year old mines are still killing and maiming today. Modern
mines are very hard to find because they are made of undetectable
plastics and alloys. For example in Angola the legacy of war, which
finished in 2002, has left nearly five million hard-to-detect landmines
scattered across the country.
16% of "bomblets"
released from cluster bombs don't explode on impact. Post war Iraq
is now littered with these small cylinders as they continue to maim
and kill - usually children, who pick them up to play with.
There is a variety
of landmine based charities which deal with various aspects of the
problem. The Halo Trust specialize in the removal of the debris
of war and have over 4,850 mineclearers in 9 countries. Their operations
are always increasing. Adopt-A-Landmine do a similar job and run
mine action projects in 6 countries.
Handicap International helps victims of landmines and also cover
other aspects of humanitarian based
victims of landmines
animals are also killed and maimed by landmines.
In the pre 9-11
Afghan war, Afghans suffered a total loss of more than 75,000 animals
due to mines ... more than 50% of the total number of livestock.
These numbers are comparable to many war-torn countries across the
less compassionate people even use animals to explode mines in their
In 1997 a report
said that Bosnian locals were letting sheep loose in unsafe areas
as a barbaric method of exploding the mines.
In El Salvador, pigs were used to find and detonate mines. Source:
It is reported that, "During Iran's 1980-1988 war with Iraq,
entire classes of boys were brought to the front as "scouts" and
sent forward over enemy minefields. Tehran had previously used sheep,
but decided even children were to be involved in the war effort."
Source: (Chelmminski, 1994. p.29)
In a report on Zimbabwe: "Many people could not return to their
villages and farms after their independence. Those who did pushed
their cattle ahead to detonate the mines."
For a more comprehensive resource read
deaths from mines source: Project
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