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Myanmar suffered 1,052 civilian casualties due to landmines last year: UN

 Published: 12:38, 4 April 2024

Myanmar suffered 1,052 civilian casualties due to landmines last year: UN

According to a United Nations agency, Myanmar endured a staggering toll of 1,052 civilian casualties attributed to landmines and other explosive devices over the course of the last year.

UNICEF in a statement released on Wednesday highlighted the "alarming" situation prevailing in Myanmar noting that nearly all regions and states of the Southeast Asian nation, except the capital Naypyidaw, have been affected by landmine contamination.
The data cited by UNICEF revealed a significant escalation in casualties compared to the preceding year, with the 2021 figures nearly tripling the 2022 count, which stood at 390 incidents.
Of particular concern is the fact that more than 20% of the victims were children, underlining the severity of the humanitarian crisis.
Myanmar has been embroiled in internal political and ethnic conflicts, aggravated following the military's overthrow of the civilian government in February 2021.
Debora Comini, UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, condemned the use of landmines, emphasizing its potential violation of international humanitarian law.
"It is imperative that all parties involved in the conflict prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians, especially children, and take immediate action to cease the use of these indiscriminate weapons," Comini stressed.
The UN agency highlighted that Myanmar now ranks among the most heavily landmine-contaminated countries globally.
The recent upsurge in internal conflict has resulted in the displacement of over 2.8 million individuals and left more than 18 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, further exacerbating the crisis, UNICEF added.

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