More than 1,200 Somali civilians were killed or injured in 2022 due to explosive ordnance, including explosive remnants of war, landmines, and improvised explosive devices, the UN confirmed this week.
Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia Anita Kiki Gbeho said the explosive ordnance contamination hinders economic recovery and development by making contaminated areas off-limits and preventing access to local livelihoods and essential services, as well as inhibiting people’s freedom of movement.
“On this international day, we especially recognize the courage and dedication of the mine action operators and their commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for all Somalis,” Gbeho said.
Gbeho expressed commitment to a mine-free Somalia.
“Whether measured in the number of casualties or the scope of economic impediment, the toll being paid by ordinary Somalis because of the dangers posed by explosive ordnance is too high a price to pay,” Gbeho said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
She said the UN in Somalia remains committed to working with Somali authorities and local and international partners to protect civilians and foster peace, security, and development in Somalia.