Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

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Posts tagged "demining"

Government has appealed to the international community to chip in with about $100 million required to speed up the demining of the country’s borders after the exercise was allocated a paltry $500 000 by Treasury this year.

Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Martin Rushwaya told Parliament yesterday that the paltry allocation from Treasury had stalled the programme.

“We were only allocated $500 000 in the 2014 national Budget for demining and we appeal to the international community to support us to complete the demining exercise,” Rushwaya said.

Director of the Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre Colonel Mkhululi Ncube warned members of the public against tampering with landmines after being misled into believing that the explosives contained red mercury.

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Five Afghan bomb-disposal experts and their driver were killed and three colleagues were kidnapped on Thursday in an insurgent attack in western Afghanistan, a police official told Efe.

The attack occurred at 6:30 a.m. in Herat province, said local police spokesman Abdul Raouf Ahmadi.

Ahmadi said the victims belonged to a non-profit British-American organization called Halo Trust, but the report has not been confirmed by the NGO.

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The Belgian soldiers didn’t even flinch when the mines exploded meters behind them, sending a plume of dust and smoke into the sky.

“We’re used to it,” Lt. Steven Roels said with a good-natured shrug.

For the past four months, Roels and a platoon of Belgian soldiers in UNIFIL have worked six days a week clearing mines along the Lebanese-Israeli border, and the blasts have slowly become routine inflections in their daily rhythm.

In two weeks, however, Roels and the rest of the battalion will hang up their trademark blue helmets and head home.

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A Deminer Working for the HALO Trust on the Job in Colombia

In several Latin American countries, decades of conflict have left behind a dangerous legacy: small arms and light weapons in unsecured stockpiles; excess and obsolete munitions; and hidden hazards from landmines and unexploded ordnance.  The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is working closely with partner countries and nongovernmental organizations to enhance Latin American regional security by funding conventional weapons destruction and landmine clearance projects.  A team of PM/WRA experts recently went to Colombia, El Salvador, and Honduras to participate in a landmine survivors’ assistance conference and take stock of progress to date and the challenges ahead for U.S.-funded humanitarian demining and weapons destruction projects. 

The first stop was the Bridges Between Worlds conference held in Medellin, Colombia.  With over 300 representatives from 36 countries and numerous NGOs in attendance, the two-day event focused on enhancing landmine survivors’ assistance and integrating survivor assistance policy into broader national policies regarding disability, health, education, employment, development, and poverty reduction.  The conference location was especially significant; Colombia is one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world and is second only to Afghanistan in the number of disabled survivors of accidents involving landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Following the conference, our team visited landmine survivors in San Carlos, Colombia, along with staff from our partners at the Centro Integral de Rehabilitacion de Colombia (CIREC). CIREC is a Colombian NGO specializing in medical and psychological services for conflict survivors.  With U.S. support, CIREC has deployed “rehabilitation brigades” to assist landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities throughout Colombia’s conflict-affected regions. CIREC’s rehabilitation brigades provide services in orthopedics, psychiatry, and physical and psychological therapy to those most in need.

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Cambodian de-miners at work in a mine field in Banteay Meanchey province in northwestern Cambodia. (UNDP/Chansok Lay)

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In April 2014 HALO Zimbabwe destroyed its 1,000th mine, a mere six months after the start of demining operations in November last year. The achievement is all the more notable for the fact that the clearance is taking place in difficult conditions within a few metres of a road, a village and a school.

Zimbabwe’s mines problem receives little public attention but the border communities are severely impacted. HALO’s survey to date indicates that there are 12 minefields within 150m of schools, 19 minefields within 50m of houses and 31 minefields within 10m of cultivated land. There is a need to get funding for more HALO deminers as soon as possible to reduce the threat faced by these communities and to allow them to use their land without fear.

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inserbia:

US EOD experts to help Serbia, BiH in landmine removal

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement is deploying the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), a group of civilian explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts, to Serbia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), a statement from the US Department of State reads.

The QRF will arrive on May 26 and work with local officials of both the Serbian and BiH Mine Action Centers to survey landmine-contaminated areas affected by the recent widespread floods.

Heavy rains in the Balkans have caused widespread flooding that has led to the possible shifting and uncovering of some of the 120,000 landmines remaining from the 1992-1995 conflict associated with the break-up of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.


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To Serve A Nation: Women And UXO In Laos

As I had posted here:
http://plainofjarsproject.com/women-uxo-laos/

Most of the de-mining teams in Laos are female. To Serve a Nation explores the lives of UCT6, an all female UXO clearance team working for The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in Lao PDR, the most bombed country, per capita, in the world. This video is by Tessa Bunney, a wonderful photographer working in Laos.

Please donate to the Plain of Jars Project:
http://startsomegood.com/plainofjarsproject

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

This is one of the reward photos for donors of the Plain of Jars Project viewable here:

http://plainofjarsproject.com/gallery/