Thursday, December 07, 2006

Landmines in Western Sahara kill two

Morocco sowed over a million landmines in the Western Sahara to discourage Polisario attacks. The program may have been successful, but it's come at a terrible cost in human life. This was demonstrated again recently when two people in the Western Sahara were killed by landmines, according to the Saharawi Association of Victims of Human Rights Violations.

The victims were injured after their car hit an anti-personnel landmine. While tactical arguments can be made for landmines, there hasn't been a Polisario attack in Western Sahara for fifteen years. Why hasn't Morocco deactivated the landmines yet? I worry that even when Western Sahara becomes independent, the landmines will remain, taking lives every year and hampering economic development.

The cost of landmine removal is enormous. It cost tens of millions of dollars to remove the landmines Saddam Hussein laid in Kuwait during the first Gulf War, and that was fewer than a million. Any decolonization agreement with Morocco should include landmine disarmament.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:53 AM

    You aren't that smart are you now? Morocco did place countless of landmines in the Moroccan Sahara. Did you think the Polisario didn't? Of course they did. Algeria was the main supplier. And FYI Western Sahara will never be independant. I rather see a full blown war than an illegal dictatorship run the W. Sahara. BTW can you tell me when the Polisario held elections to choose a new leader? Eh? NEVER. That Abdel Azziz freak has been in control since the beginning.

    If it is up to me, I'd like to see the desert sands stained by Polisario and Algerian blood.

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