Landmines Essay

This essay has a total of 872 words and 4 pages.



A recent report on the ban the production and the use of landmines which appeared in the
International Post caught my attention. Credit for the lucidly written report should be
given to Ms Kazka, a colleague of mine, who illuminated the pertinent issues involved in
the controversy revolving the production of landmines. Although the Philippines is
fortunate enough not to have experienced the anguish of states like Afghanistan and
Bosnia, we as a nation, averse at atrocities brought about by warfare, should contribute
to the advancement of this noble cause of banning the production, the use and the demining
of landmines.

As Ms Kazka reported, each day landmines kill or wound an estimated 75 people worldwide.
Ninety percent of these victims are civilians. Among the victims may be a teenage girl
gathering firewood in Cambodia. A grandfather herding sheep in Afghanistan. Or a boy
running across an empty field in Angola. What makes antipersonnel mines so abhorrent is
the indiscriminate destruction they cause. Mines cannot be aimed. They lie dormant until a
person or animal triggers their detonating mechanism. Antipersonnel mines cannot
distinguish between the footfall of a soldier and that of a child. Those who survive the
initial blast usually require amputations, long hospital stays, and extensive
rehabilitative services. These people do not usually recover from the psychological strain
that the explosions cause. Moreover, they are discriminated by people in their respective
society and are considered lower class people.

Vivid images of the leg-less people were described in detail by the report In Cambodia
alone there are over 35,000 amputees injured by anti-personnel landmines--and they are the
survivors. Many others die in the fields from loss of blood or lack of transport to get
medical help. Mine deaths and injuries in the past few decades total in the hundreds of
thousands. Landmines are now a daily threat in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia,
Chechnya, Croatia, Iraq, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Somalia, and dozens of other countries.
Mines recognize no cease-fire and long after the fighting has stopped they continue to
maim or kill. Mines also render large tracts of agricultural land unusable, wreaking
environmental and economic devastation.

Refugees returning to their war-ravaged countries face this life-threatening obstacle to
rebuilding their lives. Leading producers and exporters of antipersonnel mines in the past
25 years include China, Italy, the former Soviet Union, and the United States. More than
50 countries have manufactured as many as 200 million antipersonnel landmines in the last
25 years.

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