The UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, held in Naypyitaw on 4 April. This year’s event is the 4th year at which representatives of the government attended and spoke at an event in Myanmar.
In a formal statement at the event, the ambassadors of European Union countries wrote that, “The Government therefore needs to take urgent action against the use of landmines and we strongly encourage Myanmar to join the Ottawa Convention banning the use of landmines.” EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt said he had been made aware that Myanmar was making preparations to join the treaty, and hoped it would do so soon.
“Myanmar has some of the world’s highest landmine incident rates,” noted to June Kunugi, UNICEF representative to Myanmar to the media after the event. None-the-less, Myanmar continues to lack of any mine clearance programs within the country.
Regarding the event in Naypyitaw, Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, the Landmine Monitor researcher for Myanmar/Burma, stated, “The authorities have allowed international organizations to conduct activities to warn people about the dangers of landmines and other explosive hazards in their environment. However they haven’t undertaken any actions which would really protect the population, which is to end use of antipersonnel mines, and undertake comprehensive clearance of mined areas.”
Additional reporting: Landmine Campaigners Urge Action as Casualties Continue to Rise, the Irrawaddy, 4 April 2018
EU calls on Myanmar Government to take action against landmine use, Mizzima, 4 April 2018