IS jihadists behind landmine crisis in Syria, Iraq
LONDON: Twenty years after Princess Diana’s iconic visit to a minefield in Angola, the world faces a new landmine crisis in Syria and Iraq on a scale not seen for decades, campaigners said yesterday.
The Mines Advisory Group said yesterday it had cleared and destroyed more than 9 000 newly laid landmines in both countries in the past six months in areas formerly occupied by the Islamic State jihadists.
Jane Cocking, the group’s chief executive, said at least $100million (R1.3billion) of additional funding will be needed per year to tackle both newly laid land mines and those still in the soil from previous conflicts in more than 60 countries.
“The problem is that we’re seeing the emergence of a new crisis on a scale that we haven’t seen since the 1990s, and to deal with that as well requires substantially more money,” Cocking told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
It is hard to gauge the scale of the problem, she said, but judging by the number of mines already cleared, Islamic State has produced improvised landmines on an “industrial scale”.