GENEVA: The Landmine Monitor reported a global increase in new casualties from landmines, with Russia extensively deploying them in Ukraine.
The Landmine Monitor on Tuesday said that 4,710 people were injured or killed by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in 2022 across 49 states and two other areas.
Civilians, with children constituting half of them, accounted for 85 percent of these casualties. Though the overall number of casualties was slightly lower than the previous year, the report noted a significant rise in casualties specifically caused by antipersonnel landmines, increasing by over 50 percent to 628 in 2022 from 414 in 2021.
Casualties from Landmine in Ukraine
The report identified Syria as having the highest number of casualties from both landmines and ERW in 2022, totaling 834. However, the surge in casualties in Ukraine was particularly shocking, increasing over tenfold amid Russia’s full-scale invasion, reaching 608 in 2022 from 58 in 2021.
Released ahead of an annual meeting of state parties of the Mine Ban Treaty, the report emphasized the importance of the treaty, which currently boasts 164 state parties and prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines.
The report cautioned that the new use of these prohibited weapons posed a significant challenge to the long-standing norm against landmines. Notably, both Myanmar and Russia, not parties to the treaty, deployed fresh landmines in 2022, with Russia extensively using them in Ukraine.
The report highlighted an unprecedented situation where a country not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, namely Russia, deployed landmines on the territory of a State Party, Ukraine.
It also noted ongoing investigations by Ukrainian authorities into the use of antipersonnel mines by their forces in and around the city of Izium in 2022 when it was under Russian control. The report found that 60 countries and territories, including 33 state parties, remain contaminated by landmines, necessitating active mine clearance efforts.