Press Release

International Day for Mine Awareness & Assistance in Mine Action in Ethiopia

04 April 2024

Protecting Lives, Building Peace

On 4 April 2024, the Government of Ethiopia and the International Community commemorate with a ceremony at the Elily hotel in Kazanchis the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action under the theme ‘Protecting Lives, Building Peace’, stressing the need to enhance support to victims affected by Explosive Ordnance.

Mines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices continue to cause death and injury, especially in situations of armed conflict. On average, one person is killed or injured by such an explosive device every hour. Many children are among the victims.

On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. This year’s theme, “Protecting lives, building peace”, as referred to by the Secretary General of the United Nations in his speech, is an invitation to highlight “the need to safeguard those at particular risk, including people living with disabilities”.

The United Nations has called for greater responsiveness to the needs and rights of people with disabilities in conflict and peacebuilding settings. This year is the fifth anniversary of Security Council resolution 2475, which calls upon Member States, and specifically Security Council members, to consider and protect persons with disabilities, to ensure they have access to assistance, and to include them in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

In Ethiopia, a series of internal and international armed conflicts throughout the years have left behind a legacy of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) scattered throughout the country. According to the latest transparency report that Ethiopia submitted under the Mine Ban Convention, the remaining unaddressed contamination totals 726 square kilometers. The outbreak of conflict in November 2020 between the central government and the regional authorities of the Tigray region, which has spilled over into the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions in 2021, has added new explosive ordnance contamination that poses an immediate threat to life and livelihoods.

According to data collected in 2023, 1,500 (1,014 male and 486 female) victims of Explosive Ordnance have been reported in Northern Ethiopia, although not all cases have been verified. It is believed that many other accidents go unreported. Initial analysis shows that children make more than 25% of all casualties known.

The mine action sector in Ethiopia remains committed to supporting the Ethiopia Mine Action Office and national partners in building up mine action capacities to mitigate the threat posed by explosive ordnance, protect lives and build lasting peace.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Mine Action Service

Goals we are supporting through this initiative