Kosovo. Going home ? Danger, mines !
Many Kosovo-Albanians who were either refugees or working abroad are now returning. Any people who are planning to return to Kosovo for whatever reason must be aware of the dangers of mines and unexploded munitions.
Your house, paths, garden or fields could be dangerous!
Stay in a place that you know is safe!
If you decide to go to your home...
You must ask other people if they know about mines or booby traps or unexploded munitions in the area. Leave your family in a place that you know is safe. Do not go by a path or road that has not been travelled. Do not go to your home if other people in the area tell you that it is dangero us!
What is the danger?
There may be mines, booby-traps and unexploded munitions. These can cause severe injury and death if you are not careful. The risks are:
Buried mines: you will not usually be able to see these. They are usually buried on foot-paths, under trees, near wells and in other places where people are likely to walk.
Fragment mines: these sit above the ground or in grass. They are usually triggered by touching a wire which is stretched across a path or attached to something that can be moved such as a gate or a door.
Booby - traps : these are left carefully hidden in houses or farms. An explosive munition- a grenade or a fragment mine - is attached to an object which you may touch, move or pick up such as a door, bottle, television, or car. People who make the booby-traps are very imaginative. Even a destroyed house may have a booby trap.
Unexploded munitions: these can be found anywhere where there has been fighting or bombing. They take many forms. They explode easily when handled.
What to look out for
Fences made with colored tapes or ropes or a pile of stones indicate that someone else knows there are mines present.
In the garden, on paths or in fields look out for: -any strange object especially if it is green or brown; wires near to the ground; dead animals; anything green or yellow with ribbon or cloth attached.
In the house, look out for: closed or partly closed doors, cupboards or drawers; attractive, unusual or valuable object that are unfamiliar to you or in a strange place.
If you go to your home and find something suspicious....
- Walk out by the same way
- Do not touch anything
- Do not attempt to remove the object or to make it explode
- Do not let others enter your home or garden
- Contact KFOR, UNHCR or a mine clearance agency
Ref. LG 1999-129-ENG