8 February 2013

Somalia: There Is High Risk of Explosive Devices, UN

Mogadishu — Thousands of land mines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) scattered in different parts of Somalia during the last decades of conflict are, creating a new source of threat to the security the country, according to a Fides News report. Experts say that Somalia lacks the appropriate equipment for clearing weapons of war.

The eastern border of Somalia-Ethiopia is reported to have many UXOs.

According to the Office of the United Nations that deals with anti-mine actions (UNMAS), there is also a threat from factories that keep explosives, abandoned weapons, ammunition and explosive devices (IEDs). UNMAS argues that most of southern and central Somalia is ridden with explosive remnants of war (ERW).

In 2012, at least eight children died in an explosion in the town of Balad in Middle Shabelle Region. According to UNMAS, in 2011, landmines caused 4% of deaths and injuries in Somalia, while UXO caused 55%. Somalia signed the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in 2012 that involves the destruction of the remnants of war within four years. In the last five years over 21,461 UXO and landmines have been destroyed in Somalia.

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