March 1, 1994

In spite of the peace accord signed in October 1992 between government forces and RENAMO rebels, innocent civilians are maimed and killed by landmines in Mozambique on a daily basis. To date, these weapons have claimed more than 10,000 victims — mostly civilians — and the casualty toll could increase rapidly as millions of refugees and displaced people return home to roads and fields littered with mines. Landmines were used in violation of international law by government troops, RENAMO rebels, and various foreign forces. In some instances, civilians were directly targeted; often the mines were scattered in an indiscriminate and random fashion, terrorizing local communities. The devastation caused by landmines in Mozambique — not only for the many civilian victims, but also to the socioeconomic well-being of the nation — is appalling. Clearance of mines could take decades, but so far, little has been done. Landmines in Mozambique is part of a series of reports by Human Rights Watch that document the effects on the civilian population of landmines used in armed conflicts. Human Rights Watch calls for an international ban on the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of antipersonnel landmines as the only way to address this global human rights, humanitarian and ecological disaster.

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