On Mine Awarness Day, UN in Somalia highlights impact on lives and development
Mogadishu – On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the United Nations in Somalia today highlighted the impact that the scourge has on Somalis, and reaffirmed its support for freeing Somalia from explosive hazards.
“The contamination by and from explosive remnants of war and landmines resulting from years of conflict in Somalia continues to have detrimental effects on safety and human security, and hampers development efforts,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan.
“The continued use of improvised explosive devices poses a serious threat to the country and its population,” he added. “The United Nations in Somalia remains committed to working with the Somali authorities and partners on mine action, which enables peacebuilding, humanitarian, and socio-economic development efforts while protecting civilians.”
In 2020, 501 civilians were killed or injured in Somalia due to improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war. In 2021, the number of casualties increased to 669 casualties.
The United Nations in Somalia works closely with national and international mine action specialists, at both Federal and Federal Member State levels, in responding to explosive threats faced by communities, while enhancing the capacity of Somalis to lead and coordinate mine action responses.
The support includes the provision of explosive ordnance risk reduction, the delivery of survey and clearance activities, victim assistance, stockpile destruction, and advocacy for adherence to the international legal instruments.
The theme of this year’s International Day is ‘Safe Ground, Safe Steps, Safe Home.’ It aims to emphasize the efforts made over the past decade to free Somalia from explosive hazards, from playground to pathway, from farmland to house.