Since 1989, about 57000Afghan civilians, have been recorded to have been killed or injured by landmines and explosive remnants of war, according to the United National Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
On the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance In Mine Action, the UN said in a series of tweets that mine action partners have removed over 19 million unexploded devices from the country.
“Today, on International Day for Mine Awareness & Assistance in Mine Action, we remember the lives lost and forever changed by explosive contamination. Since 1989, almost 57K Afghan civilians have been killed or injured by landmines & explosive remnants of war & mine action partners in Afghanistan have cleared over 19M items.”
Moreover, the organization stressed that “more than 4,150 identified hazards remain, posing a lethal threat to communities, particularly children in Afghanistan, OCHA added.
According to earlier studies, the United Nations estimates that 150 people are killed by land mines in Afghanistan every month. Eight out of every ten victims are children who unintentionally pick up an unexploded bomb that resembles a toy.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for broader global efforts to safeguard people from mines.
“For the millions living amidst the chaos of armed conflicts, especially women and children, every step can put them in danger’s path,” he said.
“Even after the fighting stops, conflicts often leave behind a terrifying legacy: landmines and explosive ordnance that litter communities,” he said. “Peace brings no assurance of safety when roads and fields are mined, unexploded ordnance threatens the return of displaced populations, and when children find and play with shiny objects that explode.”
Guterres added, “I urge Member States to ratify and fully implement the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.”
Due to decades of conflict, Afghanistan is covered in land mines and other explosive remnants of war. As a result, the country is currently among the most mines-contaminated in the world.