UK stops cash for land mine clearance

UK stops cash for land mine clearance
Some of the places affected by mines in South Sudan (Credit UNMAS-SS)

The United Kingdom (UK) government has stopped monetary allocation for land mine clearance in South Sudan.

A statement released last week by the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) noted that the UK support for mine action eradication will be reduced by about 80 percent.

For the last previous three years, UK has been investing nearly £125m but by the recent cut will now see the London mine action funding drop to just £25m for the next three years. 

As a consequence of the cuts, countries like South Sudan and other affected ones will no longer receive any UK support to remove landmines and other remnants of war.

The impact of these cuts on conflict-affected communities will be devastating according to the CEO of MAG Darren Cormack. 

“Reducing UK funding for humanitarian mine action by 80 percent is a catastrophic collapse in support that will harm the lives of vulnerable people across the world and do immeasurable harm to Global Britain’s standing,” Cormack tweets.

“Landmines and unexploded bombs affect 60 million people in the world today, with 15 people killed or injured by these indiscriminate weapons every day,’’ he added.

“Shockingly, the Government is withdrawing all support for South Sudan, where conflict and famine are at the epicenter of a growing humanitarian emergency and where landmine clearance can contribute to food security and political stability,’’ he lamented. 

He described the decision from the United Kingdom government as “shortsighted”.

“It shows naivety from a development, trade, and security perspective,” he added. 

According to MAG boss, land mine clearance would benefit South Sudan in maintaining “political stability. 

“A 100 percent cut in UK funding, vital work removing unexploded weapons and freeing up more land for farming is under threat.”

The countries affected include; South Sudan, LebanonIraq, Zimbabwe Myanmar, and Vietnam, and three more others.

MAG hopes are now on New UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss if he will review cuts following the ousting of her predecessor Dominic Raab.