Landmine – Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 15 June 2017: Egypt is one of the countries that are the most affected by landmines, as over 22.7 million explosive devices had been buried in its land amid World War two, Egypt's permanent representative to the United Nations Amr Abdel-Latif Abul Atta told the UN Security Council on Tuesday, pointing out the Egyptian efforts to address this problem.
The comments came during a Security Council briefing on the threats of landmines and explosive remnants of wars, “which come in the way of developing the damaged lands, and constitute a huge burden in the process of peacemaking,” according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Abandoned mines and explosive remnants of wars have become a source of access for armed movements and terrorists to find materials for manufacturing improvised explosive devices,” Atta told the Security Council.
Atta further presented Egypt’s continuous efforts to deal with landmines problem, by establishing a national committee to supervise mine-clearing and develop the damaged areas. The committee, Atta noted, has put a national strategy to deal with the issue of landmines, in cooperation with ministers and governmental institutions, as well as civil society organizations.
Egypt has been listed as the country most contaminated by landmines in the world, suffering alone from more than 20 percent of the total number of landmines worldwide.
The area of the north coast was contaminated between 1940 and 1943, when Britain and its allies were fighting Germany and Italy, during World War II, while the eastern part of the country, including the Sinai Peninsula, was contaminated between 1956 and 1973 during the armed conflict between Egypt and Israel.
Check Egypt Today’s map of the history and location of landmines in Egypt:
Atta emphasized Egypt’s support for the UN’s role in dealing with landmines problems, calling for a comprehensive approach to limit the threats of landmines and explosives.
This approach, Atta explained, should gather the efforts of the international community to support and aid national efforts in affected states. He added that the countries that planted the mines must take legal and moral responsibility and participate in the efforts put forth to get rid of these mines.