“This Gives Them the Ability to Step Outside Their Front Door Without Fear of Having Their Legs Blown Off”

In September 2015, Mozambique reached an important milestone: It became free of landmines. A 15-year-long civil war ended in 1992, but an estimated 213,000 deadly landmines remained. Calvin Ruysen, southern Africa desk officer for the HALO Trust, a humanitarian landmine clearance agency, said, “What it means to the country is that it gives the country a great level of confidence, to now really move forward and flourish, and move on from the civil war and the war for independence. Mozambique can now show to the rest of the world it has achieved a huge milestone.” Other landmine removal agencies aided in making Mozambique free of landmines. According to the HALO Trust, it cleared over 171,000 landmines — this is approximately 80 percent of the total number of landmines destroyed. Cindy McCain, the chairperson of the board for the HALO Trust U.S., said, “We are glad to put ourselves out of business. The government is upbeat. The people are upbeat. They are just like us. They want a safe country for their children. This gives them the ability to step outside their front door without fear of having their legs blown off.”

For Further Information: Sudarsan Raghavan, “Mozambique was once riddled with tens of thousands of landmines. Now, it has none.” Washington Post. 17 September 2015

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