Recently, landmines have been used extensively in the Russia-Ukraine war. Many people have died from landmines there.
The Landmine Monitoring Group is a campaign group whose latest report says that landmines are being used to target soldiers there, also killing civilians.
Last year, the US State Department estimated that Ukraine contained 160,000 square kilometers of landmines.
The use of landmines is also increasing in many parts of Myanmar.
The researchers interviewed villagers in an area where Myanmar’s military has been battling ethnic Karenni armed groups since taking over the reins of the country in February 2021, ousting a democratically elected government.
Various international conventions, including the ‘Ottawa Convention’ (1997), ban the use of landmines aimed at humans with the intention of restricting the weapon, which has killed and maimed thousands of people around the world.
“The use of landmines by the Myanmar military is abhorrent and brutal,” Matt Wells, deputy director of crisis response at Amnesty International, said in a statement. When such weapons have been banned around the world, the military has placed them on people’s porches, homes and even around stairways and churches.
According to Amnesty’s report, landmines have been laid in about 20 villages of Kaya. The report corroborates allegations made earlier by the ethnic groups.
Earlier this month, a Karenni human rights group alleged that military forces were planting landmines in villages and settlements in Kaya.
The United Nations Children’s Fund also reported last month that landmines and unexploded ordnance have killed and maimed children in several areas of the country. Most of these children were from Shan State in northeastern Myanmar.