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US returns to ban landmines | Current USA | DW

The White House in Washington has said the U.S. military will no longer build, manufacture or buy anti-personnel mines or export them. Existing materials will be destroyed, he said. The exception applies to the Korean Peninsula, where the United States continues to allow the use of mines. A large number of such explosives have been placed on the border between North Korea and South Korea, which is friendly to the United States.

Despite an international ban on landmines, then-US President Donald Trump allowed the military to use dangerous weapons globally again in 2020. The government of his successor Joe Biden has now reversed Trump’s decision.

Thousands of victims

According to the White House, the goal is to make preparations for the “end” of the Ottawa Conference, which came into force in 1999. More than 160 states, including Germany, have agreed to ban anti-personnel mines in the Canadian capital’s named agreement because they are still in place after hostilities are over.

Every year thousands of civilians are injured, maimed or killed by landmines. Often children playing outside and children stepping on the tunnel are the victims.

Demining in Syria has been curtailed

Anti-personnel mines are cheap to manufacture and easy to hide; On the other hand, their departure is very dangerous, lengthy and expensive. Countries that have been particularly affected by landmines in previous conflicts include Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Angola, Laos and Cambodia.

Most recently, the US military delivered the Claymore M18A1 mines to Ukraine. According to the Pentagon, the Ottawa Convention allows the use of claymore mines because they are generally placed in a controlled manner and triggered by long-range explosions.

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wa / mak (dpa, afp)