Landmines, unexploded ordnance and booby traps kill or maim thousands of people around the world each year. That is why Germany is working as a matter of priority for a global prohibition of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions and supporting measures around the world in the field of humanitarian mine and ordnance clearance. The Federal Foreign Office held a conference on this topic on Tuesday (26 September).
IS has left mined territory behind
At the Conference on Humanitarian Mine and Ordnance Clearance in Bonn on 26 September, the main question addressed was how to deal with the improvised landmines and booby traps that are now responsible for most landmine victims in the Middle East and Afghanistan in particular. The increased use of such explosives, for example by so‑called “Islamic State” (IS) in Syria and Iraq, has contaminated huge areas of land in recent years. And even in places where IS has retreated, it is often not possible for people to return home, as the risk of being injured or killed by a landmine is too high. It will take many years to clear these landmines and require extensive financial resources and the establishment of additional capacities by the affected countries and the international community.
Iraq, Colombia, Syria, Afghanistan – there is a need for action in many conflict regions.
Germany is working towards a world free of landmines
The measures funded by Germany help in particular to protect the local population, to enable internally displaced persons to return home safely and to live in dignity, to create access for humanitarian agencies and to support partner countries in implementing their obligations. Supporting people who have been injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance was thus a further key topic at the conference in Bonn.
The German Government is one of the largest international donors in the field of humanitarian mine and ordnance clearance. In 2016, Germany provided 18 million euros to fund projects in 13 countries and regions. An additional 15 million euros were spent on mine and booby trap clearance in Iraq, as part of stabilisation measures. The aim is to work with the affected countries and other donor countries to create a world free of landmines and unexploded ordnance.