Govt to reengage Red Cross on demining

Source: Govt to reengage Red Cross on demining –Newsday Zimbabwe

ZRCS was established in 1981 through an Act of Parliament as an auxiliary to government and the Act is administered by the Defence ministry in recognition of the fact that the primary role of the Red Cross is to augment army medical units.

GOVERNMENT is planning to reengage the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) on humanitarian training and demining, Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said.

She said this during belated World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day commemorations held in Gweru on Saturday last week.

ZRCS was established in 1981 through an Act of Parliament as an auxiliary to government and the Act is administered by the Defence ministry in recognition of the fact that the primary role of the Red Cross is to augment army medical units.

“The Defence ministry has benefited from the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in the area of training in international humanitarian law,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.

“Our members have found the training beneficial, not only in their day to day activities, but also on international deployments on peace support operations. Going forward, we wish to resuscitate our partnership in demining operations. We believe that your expertise in humanitarian work and a wide network within and outside the country are critical in mobilising resources for demining operations in the country, particularly with regards to the rehabilitation of victims of landmines.”

Communities living along the Zimbabwean border with Mozambique continue to be exposed to anti-personnel mines more than 44 years after they were laid.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at some point worked with the Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre (Zimac) to enhance the capacity and skills of its deminers to search for, clear and destroy anti-personnel mines in south-eastern Zimbabwe.

Countries that have signed up to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, including Zimbabwe, have an obligation to clear and destroy anti-personnel mines, and ICRC works with governments to reduce the humanitarian consequences of these devices.

According to Zimac, anti-personnel mines have killed more than 1 500 people and 120 000 livestock since 1980. It is estimated that there are 1,5 to 1,8 million anti-personnel mines that still need to be cleared in Zimbabwe.

Government has been carrying out demining, but on a smaller scale and with very limited human and technical resources, hence mulling over the resuscitation of the programme with the ICRC.

This year’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day commemorations are being held under the theme Keeping Humanity Alive.

ZRCS president Edson Mlambo said: “By working together, we will certainly make a difference in the world, which is an important reminder of the enduring commitment of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in upholding human dignity, alleviating suffering, and extending assistance to people in dire circumstances, particularly in remote and hard-to-reach areas.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0