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Landmines review - long on talk, short on action

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F - K E S B R E L E A S E

LANDMINES REVIEW - LONG ON TALK, SHORT ON ACTION WJ cjl *-' C tftl. C2-<; 'While government delegations talked into the night trying to amend the United Nations protocol governing the

use c t landmines, young men, women and children were losing limbs.1

This was the comment of Sr. Patricia Pak Poy who has just returned from Cambodia after attending the United Nations Meetings preparing for the review of the Convention on Inhumane Weapons.

In January, at one hospital alone in Cambodia, 66 people were admitted with mine injuries. One was a young

soldier, just 20 years old. Another victim was a woman who was riding on an or cart which ran over a mine on the road.

' Several victims had lost both legs', said S r , Patricia Pak Poy. Co-ordinator of the Australian Campaign tc Ban Landmines.

'The minee don't discriminate between soldier· and civilians', she said. 'They cause terrible injuries, and the effects on people and countries are long

lasting.' .

Cambodia has 6-8 million mines still to be cleared. Already Cambodia has the highest number in the world of amputees per thousand people.

'The clearance of mines especially from agricultural land, and in areas where people are living, is urgent. The international community must give mine clearance top priority - in voluntary contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund and in aid programmes', she said.

Ά total ban will be the only effective humanitarian solution to a situation of long term indiscriminate suffering and continued poverty'.

Further information : Sr Patricia Pak Poy , Campaign Coordinator Tel ; 08 210 8172

Fax : 08 231 5175

Home : 08 43 6205