Thursday, October 13, 2011
Landmines - Guinea Bissau
A serious threat remains from landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). In the north, ERW contamination has left most of the population with unusable farmland. According to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) humanitarian situation report, contamination prevents subsistence farming and cash crop harvesting in affected areas. According to the UNDP, 32 out of 39 sectors of Guinea Bissau, including some 278 villages, remain contaminated by mines and munitions left over from the war of independence and civil war; spillover from the conflict in the Casamance region of Senegal exacerbated the situation.
Warning from the U.S Dept of State:
Unexploded military ordnance and landmines remain scattered throughout the country. Although the capital city of Bissau was declared “mine-free” in June 2006 by the national de-mining center (CAAMI), occasional findings or unintentional explosions do occur. Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been active in successfully removing mines. To minimize the risks posed by landmines, U.S. citizens are encouraged to limit driving outside of towns to daylight hours only and to remain on well-traveled roads at all times.