LONDON, October 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
700 square kilometres of known hazardous areas in Afghanistan are plagued by antipersonnel mines, anti-vehicle mines, cluster munitions and improvised explosive devices. Defence IQ's recent report with insights from Robert Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report, argues that enduring conflicts and the political landscape within Afghanistan is majorly inhibiting the work of both the UN and the multiple NGOs working to clear these areas.
They key challenge of IED and mine clearance in Afghanistan is the enduring Taliban presence in 70% of the country. This has led in the past six months to the highest number of fatalities since records started, with 1,692 people killed in from January to July 2018 and IEDs as a leading cause of death.
In Defence IQ's report, the problem of explosive threat and landmine clearance is discussed in detail, and it is estimated that Afghanistan could double its agricultural production if land mines were eliminated. However, due to the dysfunctional nature of government, plagued by rampant corruption, Hyde-Bales says in the report that "it is very difficult at the moment to see a light at the end of the Afghan tunnel".
Although landmine use globally has significantly reduced over the past decade, it is estimated that there are still 110 million land mines currently in the ground and clearance challenges remain as countries including Afghanistan continue to make use of landmines despite the detrimental impact they can have on the lives of civilians.
Defence IQ's report was produced in the lead up to the Countering Explosive Threat and Demining Conference. This event is the inaugural gathering of the world's EOD community and is being held with support from the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Threats, and supported by Counter-IED UK. This conference is a unique forum that will bring together key stakeholders and decision makers from the complete, global EOD community.
Robert Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report will be speaking at Countering Explosive Threat and Demining Conference taking place in London from the 11th- 12th December 2018. Read the full report here
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SOURCE Defence IQ