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Yugoslavia: ICRC steps up mine-awareness campaign

28-06-2001 News Release 01/25

ICRC teams in southern Serbia have stepped up their efforts to warn the population of the threat posed by mines and unexploded ordnance, the dangerous legacy of recent violence which has already claimed the lives of five people in the area and injured several more.

The easing of tension in and around the so-called Ground Safety Zone has prompted farmers to start tending their fields again and displaced families to return home. This has heralded a new problem, since members of these groups, and especially children, are the most likely to be injured by mines and unexploded ordnance.

To respond to the danger, the ICRC has expanded its existing mine-awareness programme in the schools so as to reach as many schoolchildren as possible before the end of the term. In addition, all relief beneficiaries are receiving mine-awareness leaflets and posters, and local TV and radio stations have agreed to broadcast an ICRC public information campaign. The ICRC is also actively recruiting and training volunteers from the Yugoslav Red Cross and the local community in order to ensure that the message reaches as many people as possible.