Photo: Exclusivepix Media

Unexploded mines threaten the lives of children in Afghanistan, warns SIGAR

The Office of the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has said that unexploded mines still threaten the lives of children in Afghanistan.

In a tweet on Wednesday, SIGAR stated “Humanitarian mine action partners have cleared over 13 million items of unexploded ordnance from Afghanistan, but threat remains high, especially for children.”

The organization added “Due to ongoing risk to civilians, State Department continues to fund mine & explosive remnants of war clearance activities”

According to The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Afghanistan, the country has one of the highest levels of explosive ordnance contamination in the world. almost 57,000 civilians have been either dead or wounded by landmines and explosive remnants of war since 1989.

“Mine action partners in Afghanistan have cleared over 19M items. More than 4,150 identified hazards remain, posing a lethal threat to communities, in particular children,” the UN office warned last month.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recorded 450 incidents involving explosive ordinance in Afghanistan in 2022. These incidents have either killed or wounded a total of 995 individuals, mostly civilians, and children.

According to the ICRC, 97 percent of the victims were civilians with children accounting for 56 percent of the civilian victims.

“Every year, hundreds of people in Afghanistan become victims of landmines and other unexploded ordnance,” the ICRC Afghanistan said in a tweet, adding that it was raising public awareness along with the Afghan Red Crescent Society to prevent more casualties by these explosives in the war-torn country.