17 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Helping to Reduce the Impact of Anti-Personnel Mines

press release

Harare — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has donated safety and medical equipment to the Zimbabwean authorities to support mine-clearance activities in the country.

"We donated the items to help reduce the danger posed by anti-personnel mines, which continue to maim and kill people and livestock many years after fighting ended," said Pascal Cuttat, the head of the ICRC regional delegation in Harare. "In Zimbabwe, the mines are a legacy of the conflict in the 1970s."

In February, the ICRC entered into a one-year agreement with the Zimbabwean government to provide training and equipment for mine-clearance personnel. Since then, it has trained 39 Zimbabwe National Army officers to International Mine Action Standards and also taught them best practice and first aid to help improve the safety, quality and productivity of their efforts to clear and dispose of anti-personnel mines.

"The safety equipment sets, medical trauma kits and anti-personnel mine detectors we are supplying are essential to enhancing the ability of the Zimbabwean government to meet its international obligations to clear and destroy all anti-personnel mines in the country," said Mr Cuttat. "We will maintain our technical assistance for the Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre and its personnel as they put their training into practice and use the donated equipment in their operations."

In partnership with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC carries out clearance activities and provides expert guidance and training in 27 countries around the world with the aim of reducing the humanitarian impact of weapon contamination.

The ICRC has been working in Zimbabwe since 1975. Within the country and throughout the region, it endeavours to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other violence, spread knowledge of and promote compliance with international humanitarian law, and help National Red Cross Societies to prepare for any emergency situation that may arise.

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