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Landmine Kills Ethiopian Soldiers

The United Nations says four Ethiopian soldiers were killed and three others wounded when their vehicle hit a landmine near the disputed border with Eritrea.

The incident actually happened on November 22nd, but word is just being released. The Ethiopian military vehicle struck the mine on a road between Sembel and Badme.

The announcement of the incident coincides with a meeting in Zagreb, Croatia, on the progress being made with the 1997 International Landmine Treaty. Ann Kapelle is head of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. From Zagreb, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the Ethiopian incident.

She says, “I would say the first thing is that it tells me there is still a lot of work to be done. We have achieved a lot, but we haven’t achieved enough yet. In terms of anti-personnel mines, there is still a lot of work to be done in the implementation of the treaty because the treaty requires from state parties that they clear mines, they remove the mines in the mine areas. And this process has to speed up. We have done a lot of demining already in many countries around the world, but not enough. And some countries still have a lot of new casualties and still a lot of problems and we need to ensure that the demining operations increase in quality and in speed.”

Ms. Kapelle says both Eritrea and Ethiopia are parties to the landmine treaty.