UN peace operations chief to visit Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, is set to visit Afghanistan on Wednesday, according to a UN spokesperson.

During his stay, which extends until May 17, Lacroix will focus on raising awareness about the dangers of explosive ordnance.

He will be joined by Ilene Cohn, Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service. The visit aims to develop effective strategies for clearing explosives from Afghan communities.

The UN highlighted the urgency of the situation in its statement, noting that “mines threaten the lives of Afghanistan’s people, with children making up 81 percent of the 821 explosive ordnance casualties reported in the country from January 2023 through March 2024.”

The presence of explosive ordnance continues to claim civilian lives, particularly in rural areas, as a result of prolonged conflicts in Afghanistan.