By: Lailuma Noori
The United Nations (UN) has named 4th April as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
On this day, the mine action community will roll out activities across the globe to raise awareness and to seek assistance for mine action work.
Besides, there is an agreement that has been signed by 164 countries of the world to safe and protect the life of thousands of people across the world. On the day, the relevant mine action community and the UN are asking all the countries to fully support the anti-mine program in the world.
In the week leading up to it, the mine action community, led by UNMAS, will roll out activities across the globe to raise awareness and to seek assistance for mine action work.
This year, the United Nations will promote mine action by highlighting how ”Perseverance, Partnership, and Progress” have carried the sector through this challenging year.
In 2021 the COVID-19 challenges will require perseverance. Work will continue, landmines and explosive ordnance will be cleared, exit strategies and capacity development of national partners will carry on.
The mine action community will continue to adapt.
The United Nations will ensure to carry forward progress towards a world free from the threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance.
In Afghanistan, civilians have suffered continued war and violence for years. In recent years, besides that suicide attacks, targeted killings and rocket attacks have killed and wounded thousands of Afghan innocent civilians, roadside mines particularly those planted in villages and remote areas have inflected increasing civilian casualties in the country.
On the other hand, increasing magnetic mines has now changed to a fearful nightmare for Afghan citizens in recent months. Almost one or two magnetic mine explosions are reported from various parts of the country particularly Kabul, the capital.
Perpetrators of mine explosions have not been identified so far. Identification and finding perpetrators for carrying, planting and installing mines particularly magnetic ones is difficult as terrorist groups are hiring ordinary people, drug-addicts and even children for carrying and installing mines.
Life risks and psychological consequences of magnetic mines are getting worse for the society, which is unfortunately ignored and no government institution or relevant international organization have paid attention to it. The risk of increasing magnetic mines should be considered as serious.
It is worth mentioning that the main element of increasing civilian casualties in Afghanistan has been mine during the past few years. Despite of continued effort in connection with cleansing mines and prevention from planting and using different types of mines in various parts of Afghanistan, it is said that mine has remained as a big threat to the people of Afghanistan.