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Ghani thanks deminers for saving Afghan lives

Ghani thanks deminers for saving Afghan lives

Apr 02, 2015 - 19:13

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday praised efforts of deminers in Afghanistaninfo-icon but said that 20 percent of the land was still posing threat because of planted landmines.

Talking on the occasion of Worldinfo-icon Mine Awareness Day, the president said: “I thank youth who sacrificed their lives or lost part of their bodies for the sake of protecting others’ lives.”

Based on available information, he said that 189 deminers have been killed and 973 others wounded during the course of their duties in the past few years.

“Eighty percent of Afghanistan land has been cleared of mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which is a significant achievement as compared to 60 percent of the land planted with the bombs in 2002,” he recalled.

Ghani directed the ministry of educationinfo-icon to name schools after those who sacrificed their lives for protecting others’ lives as honor to them.

He also ordered Kabul municipality to name the Ghazi Stadium road linked with the Makroryan Awal to Mine Action (Main Paki).

The president added that around 15,000 mine-defusing workers had been active in the recent years but most of them have stopped working due to absence of foreign aid.

He said that the issues of lack of aid for demining process and shifting the process from foreigners to Afghans had been shared with the officials of United Nations.

“The UN has been asked to prepare a plan by which the demining process would be financed by foreign organizations,” he said.

But he stressed that Afghans should provide internal financial resources and equipments for the demining process.

Mohammad Daim Kakar, director Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said that Afghanistan was among the countries which received great setback because of landmines.

He added 80 percent of Afghan land was cleared of mines during the past 25 years but more than 4,000 areas with 524 square kilometers were still rife with landmines.

He added that based on the UNAMA report, 775 Afghan civilians had lost their lives to mines last year.

Kakar said that 73 deminers had been killed and 85 others wounded in 2,211 incidents during their duties in the past four years.



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