Mawlamyine, February (9)

The threat of landmines and explosive ordnance has resurfaced in Mon State after more than two years as a result of the coup’s consequences, putting local people’s lives at risk.

According to Human Rights Watch Network’s report on November 22, 2022, only two countries, Myanmar and Russia, are actively using landmines in 2022, 25 years after the ratification of the International Mine Ban Treaty.

According to the report, Myanmar’s military has been using landmines since 1999, and after the February 2021 coup, the use of landmines increased again, making it one of the countries that use the most landmines.

According to data gathered by Than Lwin Times, at least 10 civilians were hurt by landmines in Mon State’s Kyaikto, Belin and Ye Townships during the military takeover.

Three people were injured by landmines in Ye Township, between January 28 and February 5, a local said.

Locals claimed that the victims stepped on landmines placed by the regime troops about a mile away from the outpost near Kyotadar village in Ye Township.

Landmines and other explosive remnants of war caused 157 civilian deaths and 395 injuries in Myanmar between February 2021 and September 2022. According to a report by the Human Rights Watch Network, children made up about a third of the fatalities.

In addition, the junta forces have placed landmines in houses, village roads, monasteries, and farms, using civilians as human shields.

The Mon Youth Forum (MYF)’s spokesperson, Nai Myint Soe urged the armed forces to avoid laying landmines, saying that fighting in public places could harm the people.

He advised people to avoid high-risk areas while the fighting is intense, and pointed out that demining groups should also conduct awareness programs for the public through social media.

Since the military takeover in February 2021, at least 50 children have been killed or injured by landmines and other unexploded ordnance, according to a UNICEF report released on June, 2022.

Due to the military coup, landmine clearance teams have been inactive, and UNICEF has appealed to officials to stop the use of landmines and to clear existing landmines and unexploded ordnance.

News-Than Lwin Times

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