Landmines kill 2 000 in DRC
Speaking on the first world day for the fight against explosive devices, the centre’s director Harouna Ouedraogo told AFP that landmines kill people every month in the vast African country, the size of western Europe. “Their presence has a psychological impact on the population, who live in fear because mines do not go quiet after a war, they do not recognise any peace agreement,” he said. The UN operation lacks funding to de-mine DRC, Ouedraogo said. He called for stronger national and international action against landmines. The centre has identified 1 250 “danger zones” where the presence of landmines is known or strongly suspected. The overall number of such areas is unknown. “The task is immense, when you consider the size of the country, the absence of road infrastructure and the insecurity in several parts of eastern DRC,” he said. “We lack funding to carry out a technical evaluation necessary to develop a de-mining plan,” he added. “In 2005 we launched an appeal for $12m and have received fewer than $2m.” He said that the UN was still recovering mines and explosive devices from armed groups in the northeastern trouble spot of Ituri and Kivu in the east.