Thursday, 18th September 2014

TNI destroys 16,581 land mines

Rabu, 4 April 2012 19:50 WIB | 1.407 Views
TNI destroys 16,581 land mines
A land mine in Tripoli, Libya. (FOTO ANTARA/REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal/djo/11)
Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian military (TNI) has destroyed 16,581 land mines kept in its armory, International Security and Disarmament Director of the Foreign Ministry Febrian Ruddyard said.

"But not all the land mines of TNI had been destroyed, some were still used for military training," he said in Yogyakarta on Wednesday.

He told a seminar on the Prohibition of Land Mines at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (Fisipol) of the Gadjah Mada University (UGM) that some 2,454 land mines were still being used by TNI for training which is allowed by the Ottawa Convention.

"Some 45 million land mines had been destroyed in 159 countries including Indonesia since the Ottawa Convention was signed," he said.

He said Singapore and Myanmar are the ASEAN member countries which have not signed the Ottawa Convention. Both are producers and users of land mines.

"There are 73 countries in the world which have not joined the convention. The big countries which have not joined are Russia, China, India, and South Korea," he said.

He said while they knew that the use of land mines had caused many casualties, especially civilians.

"Land mines are not only used for war in the border areas, civilians became victim after the war. Usually maps of land lines were lost, and the mines had never been destroyed," he said.

Lars Strenger from the Jesuit Refugee Service said 73,576 people had become victims of land mines, and 70-80 pct of them were members of the civil society, mostly children.

"Since the Ottawa Convention was signed, the victims had been reduced from 20,000 to 4,000 per year, which is however still very big," he said.

He added that in 2011, some 4,191 people became victims of land mines, or 12 people per day.

"Land mines must be destroyed to avoid the civil population who are susceptible and poor, to become victim and have to face the bad impact of the war," he said.

He said land mines are explosives which will explode if their triggers are pressed. A mine will also explode if a person or animal steps on it.

"Mines are also very dangerous disregarding their victims. A mine can function for 30-60 years even if it is planted in the ground," he said.(*)