SOMALIA: Child Landmine Victims

(IRIN) – Somalia’s self-declared independent region of Somaliland has experienced an increase in landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) explosions in the recent past, with officials calling for mine awareness education in schools, as children have been the main victims.

“Child victims of land mines have increased in Somaliland in the past two months,” Ahmed Ali Maah, director of the Somaliland Mine Action Center (SMAC), told IRIN. “Some 93 children have been killed by landmines in the past three years.

Farhan Abdi Saleban, a child protection officer with Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Somaliland (CCBRS), a local NGO, said three children died and five were injured by landmines in January; and two others were injured in December 2010.

“Case fatalities and injuries associated with mine and UXO explosions have lately increased in the country,” Saleban said. “A high proportion of the victims are children, according to comparative data/information recorded for the past two months.”

Saleban said strategic interventions, including effective continuing mine-risk education and psychological rehabilitation of landmine survivors, were needed.

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