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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:32 PM

Senegal landmine blast in Casamance kills 2(estimated that there are 110 million active landmines)

Senegal landmine blast in Casamance kills two

A woman and a child have died after driving over a landmine in Senegal's restive Casamance region.

The pair were in a cart travelling between two villages some 50 miles (80km) north-west of the region's main city, Ziguinchor.

The woman was killed instantly. The child lost both feet and died later.

It is believed the mine was planted on the road by separatists who have been fighting for independence for the region south of The Gambia since 1982.

Thousands have been killed and thousands more displaced in the conflict involving the Casamance Movement for Democratic Forces (MDFC).

Nobel laureate urges U.S. to join landmine treaty

(Reuters) - Nobel Peace Laureate and anti-landmine campaigner Jody Williams called on the United States on Monday to join a worldwide pact banning the weapons and leave Russia and China among the few world powers who still reject it.

Williams, who in 1991 launched the grassroots drive which brought the Mine Ban Treaty into existence six years later, was speaking at a news conference before a week-long meeting of the 160 signatory countries to discuss how to improve the accord.

"Since (Barack) Obama has been re-elected as president, we are hoping that the United States will now put in writing what it is doing in practice," said Williams, noting that no U.S. landmines had been produced or deployed since the early 1990s.

"If it is doing it already, why not ratify the treaty?" asked Williams, a U.S. citizen who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as head of the Geneva-based International Campaign to Band Landmines (ICBL).



The basics

It is estimated that there are 110 million active landmines.This means that there is one landmine for every 17 children in the world. Or, in other words, one landmine for every 52 people.
Another 110 million landmines are stored ready to be used.
Landmines are found in over 70 countries.
2,000 people are involved in landmine accidents every month - one person every 20 minutes. Around 800 of these will die. 1,200 will be maimed.


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