By THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
In a significant move, the United States said it will stop manufacturing or buying landmines, and it is diligently looking at solutions that would ultimately allow the U.S. to be compliant with and accede to the Ottawa Convention.
Delegates from the Obama administration made the announcement at the Third Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention in Maputo, Mozambique, saying there will be no more production of the deadly weapons, which are responsible for the death of thousands of women and children every year.
The announcement underscores the U.S. commitment to the treaty that prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of APL.
“This announcement marks another important step in our landmine policy. It follows previous steps to end the use of all non-detectable mines and all persistent mines, which can remain active for years after the end of a conflict,” said the Whitehouse in a statement.
With the announcement, the U.S. takes a step closer to joining other countries that have banned landmines and are landmines free.
The U.S. haven’t made the weapon since 1997, but reserved the right to produced them until now.
So far, 161 countries have joined the treaty, including most African counties. The U.S., China and Russia are non-signatories.
Among African counties have all been declared landmines free are Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Tunisia, Rwanda, Uganda, Gambia, Kenya and Republic of Congo.
Around the world, people, mostly civilians die or lose limb daily stepping on a landmine left behind from wars.
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