Posts tagged mine action
Posts tagged mine action
Time: 12/13/2013 - 10:00
Briefing: Explosions of Violence
Landmines & the Context of Conflict in Latin America
10am, Fri, Dec 13
Congressional Meeting Room South
Capitol Visitors Center
Latin America struggles with chronic violence and insecurity. In 2012, 1 in 3 citizens reported being impacted by violent crime and 50% perceived a deterioration in security. While insecurity has many manifestations, the presence of landmines in one third of Latin American countries contributes to the face of violence in many parts of the Western Hemisphere.
Colombia alone has the second highest number of landmine victims in the world, surpassed only by Afghanistan. Since 1990, over 10,000 citizens, including nearly 1,000 children, have been wounded or killed by landmines and estimates suggest clearing all the active mines in Colombia could take over a decade.
Broken lives, shattered hopes, ruptured families, lost limbs – these are the costs inflicted on innocent villagers by the plague of landmines.
Ma Theint Theint Moe talks about the landmine that took her leg in Kyaukkyi township, Bago Region. (Nyein Ei Ei Htwe/The Myanmar Times)
In interviews with The Myanmar Times, some of the victims recalled the day they made violent contact with the hidden menace beneath the earth and related the toll it has taken.
“Suddenly, I felt as if the earth had swallowed me up. Everything went black, but I felt no pain. Then, when I tried to stand up, I found my right leg was gone,” said Ma Theint Theint Moe.
In 2003 she became the first woman in her town to fall victim to the mines planted in Bago Region’s Kyaukkyi township, close to the border with Kayin State.
Greetings from the 13th Meeting of the States Parties to the AP Mine Ban Convention in Geneva, where CISR had the pleasure of catching up with Muhabbat Ibrohimov (SMC ‘13), national director of the Tajikistan Mine Action Center (TMAC), and Reykhan Muminova (SMC ‘10), victim-assistance officer at TMAC.
A regional training course in Tajikistan is in the works for 2014!
On October 24, 2013 my colleague Anna Radivilova, a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, had the honor of representing the U.S. Government at a wonderful event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event brought together friends and supporters of the MDDC to celebrate the Center’s contributions over the last decade to reinforce humanitarian demining throughout the Balkans. Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs Ms. Denisa Sarajlić-Maglic and representatives of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces demining unit also attended.
The MDDC opened on October 24, 2003 with the full support of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is proud to have provided the initial funding to support the MDDC for the first three years. Since then, under the capable leadership of its Director, Mr. Nermin Hadžimujagić, the MDDC has developed into one of the world’s centers of excellence for providing dogs to safely sniff out and detect landmines and other explosive remnants of war, such as unexploded bombs, mortars, and artillery shells, as well as conduct training for the dogs’ human handlers for deployment globally. Once mine detecting dogs signal the precise locations of landmines or unexploded ordnance, clearance teams can get to work to remove these hidden hazards, allowing residents to return safely to roads, fields, and communities, promoting post-conflict recovery and renewed economic development.
Italian newspaper interviews CISR Director Ken Rutherford
Photo courtesy of AOAV.
Kenneth Rutherford was working as a humanitarian aid worker in Somalia in 1993. He was driving with a colleague through a rural area near the city of Mogadishu on a clear, blue day when his vehicle hit a landmine. The explosion tore through the vehicle.
Rutherford looked to his colleague to his right, who was black, and saw that he had been turned white because he was covered in dust from the explosion. Rutherford’s legs were so badly damaged that both would later have to be amputated below the knee.
"I was on my deathbed on the rocky, hard, Somali ground," Rutherford recounted for a Harvard Law School audience last week. "Blood was running down both of the backs of my legs, blood was coming out of my mouth and onto my shirt."
CISR Director Ken Rutherford is in Italy for a landmine symposium and will speak on Friday at the JMU–Florence campus to James Madison University students and the broader Florence community.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva, in collaboration with UN Mine Action Services, have created and released “Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War,” a new research guide. The guide provides a single platform to discover many forms of information on landmines and explosive remnants of war including:
- Official UN documents
- Guide publications on policies and standards
- Commercial books and articles
- Statistical tools
Those interested in the General Assembly’s consideration of the 4th Committee’s recently-submitted draft resolution on landmines are encouraged to use this guide their advantage.
The Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University (JMU) was recently awarded three new grants totaling $1,164,050 for the 2013–2014 fiscal year. With these grants, CISR is on track to exceed last year’s grant revenue total of approximately $1,481,000.
The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) awarded CISR two grants, one of which focuses on providing explosive remnants of war (ERW) risk-education programs to Syrian refugees in Jordan. A two-person CISR project-management team will travel to Jordan in November and provide guidance, support and oversight to ensure the project’s success.
The second grant funds CISR’s core activities that further the goals and objectives of PM/WRA. This includes the publication and distribution of The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, the world’s leading publication on humanitarian mine action and ERW clearance. CISR also produces PM/WRA’s annual To Walk the Earth in Safety report that documents the U.S. commitment to conventional-weapons destruction around the world.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor also awarded CISR a grant to support a public-awareness campaign in Vietnam that educates the Vietnamese on the rights of persons with disabilities (PWD). CISR staff will travel to Vietnam to conduct capacity-building trainings for local PWD-rights organizations, and will oversee the project’s monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the overall campaign is carried out successfully.
CISR helps communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative research, training, information exchange and direct services. CISR was founded at JMU in 1996 as the Mine Action Information Center, becoming CISR in 2008. Since its founding, CISR has worked worldwide to help communities build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of war and disaster.