Danger: Burma is without a national landmine action program, Karen News, Christine M. Leah and Saw Wei Thoo, 1 March 2013

Title is somewhat misleading as it goes on to note that “As it stands, there is no national mine action program. However, the government has engaged with local and international organisations to develop one. In addition, there are several contractors hopeful of getting the approval to conduct surveys and begin clearance.”

The article goes on to inform why ethnic armed groups are unlikely to agree to mine clearance prior to a political process which addresses the causes of the armed conflict in which they have confidence.

The article notes that to date no agreement between any ethnic group with the authorities requires a halt in their use, or their clearance. It also notes that their is a deficit of rehabilitation programmes for the landmine and other disabled which prolongs the poverty of the landmine injured. The article notes the call for ethnic armed groups to unilaterally pledge not to lay any NEW mines during the talks toward a peace agreement.

Halt Mine Use in Burma would add the following to make clear the status of the building of a mine action institution within the country. A framework for a Myanmar Mine Action Centre has been developed within the Office of the President’s Myanmar Peace Centre, and international humanitarian demining organizations and the UN are helping to draft National Technical Standards for mine action within the country which will govern eventual clearance operations, when they are able to move forward.

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