LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Lengthy-term progress in decreasing the number of landmine casualties was reversed last year, and rebel groups employed the mines in ten countries, the biggest quantity considering that 2006, researchers stated on Thursday.
Non-state groups were nonetheless utilizing the deadly devices in the 12 months to October 2015 in Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, and in Afghanistan, exactly where there was a sharp enhance in casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Landmines had been also utilized by rebels in three nations – Iraq, Tunisia and Ukraine – where they have been not used last year, and by 3 states: Myanmar, Syria and North Korea.
“Whilst the planet has created excellent progress, the previous year has seen disturbing actions backward in terms of new use of and casualties from landmines,” mentioned Jeff Abramson, editor of the study, which was carried out by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a lobby group.
A total of three,678 people have been killed or wounded by landmines more than the final year, about ten per day. This is up from three,308 in 2013 but far reduced than in 1999, the year a key treaty came into force, when there have been around 25 casualties each day.
The correct figure is most likely to be larger than the a single recorded, but the drop is nonetheless hugely considerable simply because recording has improved over time, Thursday’s report mentioned.
The vast majority – about 80 percent – of reported casualties were civilians.
“The new use of antipersonnel mines by non-state armed groups in … Ukraine and Yemen, and the continuing big-scale use of victim-activated IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq, are particularly worrisome,” said Mark Hiznay, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.
New landmines have been laid in only a small minority of countries, but current ones are still present in 57 nations. Mozambique declared itself mine-cost-free in September, the 28th nation to do so given that 1999.
At least 200 square kilometers of mined areas worldwide were reported cleared last year, most of them in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Croatia, a slight boost from 2013.
The 1999 Ottawa Convention prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. While backed by most countries, the treaty has not been endorsed by the United States, Russia, China and India.
(Reporting By Joseph D’Urso, editing by Tim Pearce. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate adjust. Visit www.trust.org)