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Say no to the bombing of civilians

Explosive weapons

On 4th October, Handicap International took part in the expert meeting on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The ultimate aim being to obtain a strong political statement to bring an end to the bombing of civilians.

An unexploded bomb in the city of Kobane in the north of Syria

Ph. Houliat / Handicap International

Last Tuesday, around twenty States took part in a meeting of a group of experts, set up a year ago by Austria in order to draw up a political statement against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

This group is expanding, a positive sign which shows that a growing number of States recognise the problem posed by the bombing civilians and support the intention to mobilise the international community on this subject. The impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is devastating. In 2015, 92% of the victims of explosive weapons used in cities and villages were civilians. The city of Aleppo in Syria, which has been subjected to particularly intense bombing raids over the last two weeks, demonstrates the horror experienced by civilians. 

Handicap International brought to the table its expertise in the serious injuries caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and in the needs of victims. The organisation defended its position that in their political statement States should make a public commitment to ending this practice, acknowledge the suffering of the affected populations, and make a commitment to assisting the victims.

As conflicts multiply and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas during these conflicts becomes almost systematic, finding political solutions is an urgent priority.

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Weapons clearance drones
© HI
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance drones

Since last January, HI and its partner Mobility Robotics have been trialing the use of drones to support weapons clearance experts in Faya-Largeau, northern Chad.

Weapons clearance platform in northern Chad
© HI
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance platform in northern Chad

Alongside 50 weapons clearance experts working in Chad, HI uses a remote-controlled platform, a German-made GCS 200, to clear large areas in record time.

Weapons clearance under extreme conditions
©
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance under extreme conditions

HI has been conducting weapons clearance operations near Faya-Largeau, the capital of Borku province in northern Chad, since November 2018. Some fifty weapons clearance experts work in the area. HI Communications Officer Gilles Lordet joined the teams for a typical morning of demining.