Number of Mine Victims in Burma Rises Amid Civil War

In Burma, the number of mine victims increases with the civil war

Burma is facing a devastating situation as the number of casualties caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance has increased by almost 40% in 2022 compared to 2021. According to Unicef, two-thirds of the casualties have been reported in border areas where ethnic rebels have been fighting for decades over autonomy and control of resources. However, no region has been spared since the military coup in 2021 as nearly a fifth of the casualties were reported from North of Mandalay, a largely peaceful area before the coup.

Children are particularly vulnerable to these explosive devices as Unicef reported that more than a third of the victims of landmines and unexploded devices are children. The Myanmar army troops are known to be laying landmines in large scale as part of their fight against anti-coup fighters, especially around churches and on paths leading to rice fields.

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The Southeast Asian country is not a signatory to the United Nations convention which prohibits the use, stockpiling or development of antipersonnel mines. Marcoluigi Corsi, the representative of Unicef in Burma, urges all parties to the conflict to stop using mines and explosive devices for the future of this country.

Since the military coup in 2021, more than 5,000 people have been killed by anti-coup fighters and allied ethnic rebels, while more than 3,000 people have been killed by junta security forces. More than 19,000 people have been arrested in the military crackdown, according to a local monitoring group.

The situation in Burma is dire and urgent action needs to be taken to stop the use of landmines and unexploded ordnance. All parties to the conflict must be held accountable for their actions and the international community must come together to ensure the safety of the people of Burma.

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