A deadly legacy: The lasting scourge of landmines

WAR leaves many legacies, none appealling. One keeps on killing long after the soldiers have gone home. Civillians are the primary victims.
A deadly legacy: The lasting scourge of landmines

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines reported in November that in 2015 global landmine casualties hit a 10-year high but clearance funding fell to a 10-year low. That year 6,461 casualties were recorded, a 75% increase over 2014 and the highest since 2006. The majority — 78% — of the victims were civilians.

This is not a new problem. Twenty years ago Princess Diana posed for that iconic mine field photograph in Angola, a gesture that did so much to secure the resources needed to clear mines. Though an estimated 1,000 minefields remain in Angola there is some hope — Mozambique was declared mine free in 2015 after 22 years of effort.

In an imperfect world it is not always easy to do the right thing, but in this instance it is. The international community, especially the countries that manufactured these wretched weapons, needs to better support efforts to clear this legacy of threat and death, so the peace might actually be peaceful.

More in this section