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Southern Africa: experts to consider future of landmines

09-04-1997 News Release 97/13

The ICRC is hosting a seminar of experts from countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Harare from 20 to 23 April 1997 to discuss the future of anti-personnel landmines in the region. The seminar, which is being held in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity and the government of Zimbabwe, will bring together senior officials from Ministries of Defence and of Foreign Affairs. In his invitation to the governments of SADC countries, ICRC President Cornelio Sommaruga stated: " It is our hope that the Harare seminar will mark a turning point in efforts to free southern Africa from the terrible human suffering and severe socio-economic burdens which landmines have inflicted " . The ICRC was specifically requested to convene the seminar by the Ottawa Group of 50 pro-ban States as part of the plan of action adopted at the Ottawa Conference on Landmines in October 1996.