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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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Completion of demining operations
Explosive weapons

Completion of demining operations

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Mine action in 2018
© Blaise Kormann/L’illustré/HI
Explosive weapons

Mine action in 2018

Developments in mine clearance largely reflect recent changes in response environments. Thomas Hugonnier, head of Mine Action at HI, explains how this currently affects our mine clearance operations.

Deir Ezzor: The fighting may be over but the danger is still present
© E.Fourt/HI
Explosive weapons

Deir Ezzor: The fighting may be over but the danger is still present

On 3 November 2017, the armed forces took back control of the town of Deir Ezzor in Syria.[1] The fighting inside and surrounding the city lasted several months, creating numerous civilian victims and displacing over 300,000 people. Handicap International (HI) is gravely concerned about the situation in the field. 


[1] Syrian armed forces, Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS) and coalition.