UN special rapporteur highlights toll of mines on Afghan civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan — Richard Bennett, the UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan, marked International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance by emphasizing the significant toll landmines continue to take on Afghan civilians, particularly children.

Bennett stressed the importance of heightened awareness and clearance efforts. “Let’s commit to intensifying awareness and clearance efforts to ensure a safer tomorrow for all through mine awareness and landmine clearance,” he stated.

In a recent tragic incident on April 1, nine children were killed in a village in the Giro district of Ghazni province, central Afghanistan, when they detonated an explosive ordnance they found while playing.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also addressed the broader issue, noting that landmines and other remnants of war pose a direct threat to millions in conflict zones around the world, from Afghanistan to Sudan, Ukraine, and Gaza.

“Country by country, community by community, let’s rid the world of these weapons — once and for all,” Guterres urged.