Peace without ridding world of mines, is "incomplete": UN chief

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Mine clearance in Timbuktu, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Peace will always be "incomplete" without ridding conflict zones of life-threatening landmines and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

That's the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, marking International Mine Awareness Day on 4 April.

He urged Member States to keep the issue "at the top of the international agenda" when negotiating peace deals and humanitarian aid.

Matthew Wells has more.

The UN chief said that conflicts were multiplying around the world, and increasingly interlinked, with IEDs killing and injuring thousands each year.

"These pernicious devices," as he called them, are hidden in homes and schools "terrorizing local populations."

The UN and partners have "cleared vast areas" of land contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war over the last two decades, as well as clearing roads and airstrips, to make way for lifesaving aid.

He thanked the "brave women and men working in mine action for their life-saving work" and applauded the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for its "leadership and commitment to peace".

His message concluded saying that mine action established the "foundations for lasting recovery and development."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 41″

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