The Myanmar army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have been using land-mines in recent skirmishes in Kachin and northern Shan State, according to UNICEF.

Most of the war victims, including about 1,000 children, have already fled to temporary camps due the current clashes between the army and the KIA in Man Wein Gyi Region in Southern Kachin State.

Despite clashes decreasing in the last few days, tensions are still high on both sides. The use of mines means that many of those displaced may still be in danger even after the fighting has stopped.

The remaining land-mines are highly dangerous for local people, including children, and are a constant threat for humanitarian organisations attempting to provide aid to war victims, says UNICEF.

Kachin and Northern Shan States are the areas in Myanmar most affected by land-mines, according to UNICEF’s resident representative for Myanmar.

Myanmar stands fifth position among eight countries where over 100 people have been killed by land-mines, according to a report by Handicap International.

“There are two kinds of land-mines, namely handmade and factory-made mines. A factory-made mine is very long lasts for years. Moreover, the mines are different of the kinds. For example, the handmade mine planted in Southern Kayin State is different from the one planted in Northern Kayin State,” said an officer from the Myanmar Peace Center.

161 nations signed the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997 which bans antipersonnel land-mines and requires their clearance and assistance to victims.

Link: http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6120:gov-t-kia-use-land-mines-in-current-skirmishes&catid=44:national&Itemid=384