Lebanese campaign to raise awareness against mines

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) observed Monday the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action at its headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon.    (Xinhua/Liu Song)

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) observed Monday the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action at its headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon. (Xinhua/Liu Song)

Mines have become a daily suffrage for Lebanese, which led to a national day to raise awareness against mines, held every 4th April, ever since the general assembly in the United Nations announced it on 2005.

On 4th April, Lebanese took to different social media using the hashtag ‘#TogetherAgainstMines,” which was initiated by the official account of the Lebanese army on Twitter. Posters by the Lebanese center for mines action were distributed as well, which encourages people to report any mine suspicions and to stay away from them, which was supported by some Lebanese politicians.

According to the Lebanese center for mines action, the mines problem started in Lebanon back in 1975, its effects apparent as the Civil War’s first remnants in 1990. It resulted in at least 100,000 buried mines, as well as unexploded weaponry.

But cluster bombs were added to the potential danger after the Israeli shelling, which left behind more than one million unexploded cluster bombs. It poses a constant threat and danger and stops people from making full use of their lands.

The official twitter account of the Lebanese army urging people to protect themselves and their families by staying away from mines and cluster bombs.

The official twitter account of the Lebanese army urging people to protect themselves and their families by staying away from mines and cluster bombs.

The center also points out that the mines problem is vitally important because of the large area they occupy compared to the size of Lebanon and its dense population. It also proved to be a hindrance for economic and social projects and infrastructure in the country.

The center has released a statement in 2014, of their progress on cleaning the areas of cluster bombs and mines, “the progress of cleaning the areas of cluster bombs is 70% while the progress of removing mines is 46%.”

This also goes hand in hand with the awareness campaigns done by 450 activists from civil groups, providing healthcare supervisors in governmental schools as trainers in order to raise awareness of mines dangers, helping in raising the awareness of 450,000 students, directly and indirectly.

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