World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Lebanon: Unexploded Ordnance Problem

Lebanon: UN Officials Fear Unexploded Ordnance Problem Could Worsen With Winter

New York, Oct 11 2006

United Nations de-mining officials, already worried by up to 1 million pieces of unexploded ordnance in southern Lebanon left over from Israel’s 34-day war with Hizbollah, voiced concern today that the problem could worsen as winter weather embeds the munitions deeper into the ground.

“This will make the job more dangerous since it becomes difficult to detect and clear the suspected contaminated areas,” UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Spokesman Alexander Ivanko said of the unexploded ordnance (UXOs) and cluster bomb units (CBUs) still remaining from this summer’s conflict.

“UNIFIL de-mining teams and UXO disposal units are trying to remove as many as they can before the winter season,” he added, when the soil becomes softer due to rain.

In Geneva today, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland said unexploded munitions have been a much bigger problem than originally foreseen, numbering in the hundreds of thousands in part due to Israel’s excessive use of cluster bombs at the end of the war.

Yesterday the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that Lebanese schoolchildren faced “a terrible situation” from the munitions. “The number of unexploded cluster bombs ranges from 100,000 to 1 million and it remains a primary threat to children, especially as they go back to school,” spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said.

Mr. Ivanko said that since the 14 August cessation of hostilities, the UNIFIL Chinese Battalion had surveyed over 140,000 square metres of areas suspected to be affected and destroyed over 3,800 UXOs and CBUs. Additional de-mining activities are being conducted by the French, Italian and Spanish battalions.

Most of the CBUs disposed are from the Al Hinniyah area. The Chinese de-miners try to interact as much as possible with the civilian population. “I believe we are doing an important and dangerous job out there,” Mr. Ivanko said, adding that the CBUs present a threat not only to civilians, but also to UNIFIL and Lebanese Army troops deployed in the South.

Mr. Egeland today commended the Lebanese Government, public institutions and civil society for “a remarkably effective effort” to rebuild their country.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news