Landmine Casualties in Africa, 2013Posted: December 9, 2014
Last week, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines published its annual Landmine Monitor report, the 16th annual edition, which details the state of mine action around the world (The Monitor). One of the key findings of the report was the fact that landmine casualties in 2013 had dropped to their lowest ever recorded level: 3,308 persons killed or injured by landmines. This represented a drop of 25% in casualties from 2012 and roughly a third of the number of casualties recorded in 1999 when two people were killed or injured by landmines every hour of every day. That good news should be tempered by the constant reminders against complacency. In 2013, only 185 square kilometers were cleared of landmines (compared to 200 square kilometers in 2012) and the funding available for mine action declined by more than 10% from the record high funding of US $497 million in 2012.
In Africa, new use of landmines was reported in Libya and Tunisia; in both countries rebel groups or non-state actors were responsible. Across the continent, 647 persons were killed or injured by landmines in 2013 compared to 676 casualties in 2013, a decline of only 4% compared to the global drop of 25%. Also, ten countries (Algeria, Angola the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Tunisia and Uganda) all saw their landmine casualties increase from the previous year (The Monitor; The Monitor). Especially tragic is the increase in casualties in Mozambique which is likely to be declared landmine-free in a few months’ time and the alarming rise in Tunisia where the 28 casualties is almost triple the number recorded in the previous two decades and the first confirmed landmine casualties since 2002 (The Monitor).
Michael P. Moore
December 9, 2014
moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org