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Somalia, December 2015: UNICEF calls for more action following accidental killing of two children by leftover explosive device

December 2015 – Two young brothers were killed and a third brother injured in the northern Somali region of Sanaag by an explosive device thought to be a landmine or munition left behind from an earlier conflict. The boys were herding goats at Ballibusle, 35kms from Dahar Town in Sanaag region.

The UNICEF Somalia Representative, Steven Lauwerier, offered his condolences to the family of the brothers and called for more to be done to prevent such accidents.

“This is a terrible accident and clearly shows that landmines and unexploded ordinance still pose a grave risk to Somali children,” said Mr Lauwerier. “We need to ensure that all children and their families are aware of the dangers. We need all parties to work faster to ensure that the landmines and other remnants of war are removed and that no new ones are left behind.”

UNICEF Somalia has a long history of working on mine risk education (MRE) in schools and communities, through the deployment of MRE teams, supporting government and NGOs partners, developing materials to encourage safe behaviour and help to reduce the risk in affected communities, especially for children and will make it a priority this year.

Landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) – unexploded and/or abandoned ordnance left behind after a conflict or war – continue to kill, injure and destroy the lives of Somali children. In 2014, 30 people were killed and 54 injured by various accidents mostly by ERW – which include abandoned unexploded artillery shells, grenades, mortars, rockets and air-dropped bombs as well as landmines.

A number of NGOs are close to completing landmine and ERW clearance in Somaliland where urban centres were heavily mined around refugee camps, houses and airports as well as around military camps, on paths, bridges and water storage areas during an earlier conflict. The conflict there left behind a large number of unexploded ordnance and abandoned ammunition. In Puntland, there is a limited amount of explosive hazard. In the South and Centre of Somalia, there are some minefields along the Ethiopian border, as well as ammunition storage areas and scattered unexploded ordinance.



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