Mine squads wait to clear landmine at ceasefire regions

Bomb disposal experts are waiting to clear landmines in ceasefire regions, which threaten about 5 million people in 45 townships across Myanmar.

Landmines are spread across Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan, Mon States as well as Taninthayi and eastern Bago regions, according to Thant Zin, Chairman of Landmine Initiative Movement.

“Landmines are now spreading out in 45 Townships and it is very dangerous for about five million rural people. These landmines remain underground for many years ago and are harmful ammunition,” he said.

“In Myanmar, no one cleared the mines. Other countries carried out landmine clearance tasks 20 years ago. But, Myanmar can’t start the clearance of landmines because armed groups and the government’s army is positioned in the landmine areas.

“Actually, landmine clearance projects can be launched at the ceasefire regions. For example, there is no fighting in eastern Bago region. Likewise, Mon State and Taninthayi Region have no fighting. But, a battle took place only in north-east of Kayin State. So, there are many places landmines can be cleared. If both sides will have a desire to clear the landmines, we will begin our task at once,” said Thant Zin on April 4th.

The 10th International Day of landmine activities and discussions was held at the Kadawgyi Palace Hotel, Yangon on April 4th.

The Secretary-General of United Nations said that Myanmar will not participate in landmine clearance programs.

He said measures are needed to clear landmines to safeguard the public, and Myanmar should provide treatment for landmine victims.

 

Translated by KSM