Something many of us may have missed last week caught my eye. In the1960’s during its war of independence and the subsequent civil war many thousands of landmines had been laid throughout the country. Mozambique’s 15-year civil war claimed around 1 million lives. Approximately 5 million people fled their homes and Mozambique became one of the most mined countries in the world. As a result, hundreds of people were injured and killed by landmines in the 1990’s.
After peace broke out in 1992 the mines continued to maim and kill hundreds of people. It was thought that it could take up to a century to clear these instruments of death. But aided by Scotland’s Halo Trust the Mozambique Government announced on the 17th of September that after 20 over years of painstaking effort the country was effectively mine free. The Halo Trust alone removed over 170,000 mines (around 80% of the total) and their work continues in Africa and elsewhere.
It is fantastic to have something good to report – but where were the news organisations? Their silence was deafening.
Mozambique is a beautiful country with some spectacular scenery and wildlife; I have appended just a few pictures in the gallery below.