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Norway Increase Support for Mine Clearance in Iraq and Syria

The Norwegian government increased support to Iraq and Syria in their mission to clear liberated areas from mines and war remnants, said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.

“Mine clearance is crucial to prevent the loss of civilian lives, to ensure access for emergency aid, and to enable hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people to return safely to their homes. This is why we are now increasing our support for mine clearance in Iraq and Syria,” the minister said on Thursday.

Last summer the city of Mosul in Iraq was liberated from Isil, and last autumn the global coalition liberated the city of Raqqa, formerly Isil’s headquarters in Syria. According to the UN, the number of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Iraq and Syria is extreme, with 50 to 70 casualties a week in the city of Raqqa alone.

‘The human suffering caused by these explosives must be brought to an end. The situation in Raqqa and Mosul is particularly serious. A substantial share of Norway’s support for mine clearance is being channeled to these two cities,’ said Søreide.

Norway is one of the five largest donors to international mine clearance efforts. Source