Land in Afghanistan donated to mine victims, UN reports

31 May 2007

Land in Afghanistan that is now free of mines has been donated to the brave workers who were injured while clearing those deadly weapons from the area, the United Nations said today.

Giving the land to 87 individuals, Mohammad Housain Anwary, the Governor of the province of Herat, said he wanted to honor their important work of the deminers in Afghanistan, the UN Mine Action Centre there (UNMACA), reported today.

“Demining is really a continuation of Jihad,” he said. “Jihad doesn’t only mean fighting and having weapons. It means supporting human beings, stability and development.”

The 87 deminers, who were all wounded in the Herat region during mine clearance activities, have since returned to their homes, but most are unemployed and face challenging living conditions, according to UNMACA, which oversees mine action on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan.

“These deminers are really worthy of appreciation. Demining is the best support to the country,” said Mohammad Sediq, the UNMACA Chief of Operations. “It is our duty to look after them, especially ones who have become the victims of mines. We thank Governor Anwary, and we hope this action will be followed by other government authorities as a positive example throughout the country.”

Two weeks ago, Rahmatullah Rahmat, the Governor of the province of Paktia, donated land to 26 deminers who were the victims of mine accidents in Paktia.

The Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA), an umbrella organization comprised of partners that are coordinated by UNMACA, has cleared more than 1 billion square meters throughout Afghanistan since 1989 – destroying more than 323,000 anti-personnel mines, more than 18,500 anti-tank mines and almost seven million pieces of unexploded ordnance.

 

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