Soldiers from the Ethiopian National Defence Forces preparing a demonstration. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Orlando Bama
On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the Commission of the African Union (AU) and the ICRC organized an awareness session for staff members of the Commission working in environments that may be exposed to explosive hazards and landmines. The session provided theoretical and practical knowledge on risk awareness and safe behavior in weapon contaminated areas. The session was conducted by the ICRC's weapons contamination adviser for Africa and members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team.
ICRC WeC Advisor, John Jakob Sorbo Faste speaks to those in attendance. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Orlando Bama
In line with the theme for this year's Mine Action Day:
Needs Driven. People Centered, the Commission and the ICRC are placing the spotlight on the impact of explosive hazards on civilians and other victims of armed conflict, and the necessity to disseminate, prevent, and provide appropriate remedies. Today's commemorative event also showcases the collaboration between the Commission and the ICRC towards implementation of the AU Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Strategic Framework.
The ICRC is placing the spotlight on the impact of explosive hazards on civilians and other victims of armed conflict. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Orlando Bama
Together with other international partners, the Commission and ICRC have extended operational and capacity building assistance to AU Member States in the areas of explosive ordnance disposal, program and quality management, and in victims' assistance.
As part of its ongoing efforts towards achieving an Africa free of landmines and explosive remnants of war, the Commission and its partners will facilitate cross-border mine action operations, foster inter-African cooperation and build the capacity of AU Peace Support Operations to deal with explosive hazards in mission areas.
On this occasion, the Commission and ICRC urge all Member States of the AU to spare no effort in fulfilling their obligations pursuant to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and other relevant treaties. We also call upon international partners to renew their commitment and allocate the necessary resources to assist the continent in becoming free from landmines and explosive remnants of war.