Thursday, 8 January 2009
Angola's Miss Landmine 2008.
On the right is Miss landmine 2008 Maria Restino Manuel a 26 year old who had her leg blown off in 1998 when she ran across a mined field to escape a gang of soldiers who had threatened to rape her. When she said that she wanted to promote world peace she really meant it.
On the left is Mum-of-four Filomena Da Costa who has married a fellow amputee.
Anita Pedro in the centre has three year old twins.
Civil war broke out in Angola after independence from Portugal in 1975. More than 500,000 were killed in 27 years of fighting and all sides used landmines. 43,000 have been removed so far but it will take 10 or more years to remove the remaining millions. Every year, 400 Angolan locals step on mines.
Approximately every thirty minutes someone, somewhere in the world is injured or killed by an encounter with them. In southeast Asia, an accident happens every day, shattering lives, hopes and dreams.
So, where did these vile weapons come from?
Apart from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, the most mine-affected countries in the world received all of their mines from sources outside of their borders.
Major producers of anti-personnel landmines in the last 25 years include Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, the former Soviet Union, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and the former Yugoslavia. The most commonly found mines around the world were from China, Italy and the former Soviet Union.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) says 13 countries have not banned anti-personnel landmine production: Burma, China, Cuba, India, Iran, Nepal, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. Some of these countries have not actually made AP mines in recent years, but refuse to ban production officially.
The tragedy is that those that profited by the manufacture of these items are not the ones that are having to pay for them, and I don't mean in financial terms.
If you would like to know more and add your support to those who face danger daily in order to rid God's World from the pollution of these evil items then see HERE
The one who throws the stone forgets, the one who is hit remembers forever... An Angolan Proverb.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 03:39