UNICEF deplores deaths of 6 children in Somalia by landmine blast-Xinhua

UNICEF deplores deaths of 6 children in Somalia by landmine blast

Source: Xinhua| 2023-07-14 01:02:15|Editor: huaxia

MOGADISHU, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has deplored the deaths of six children who were among the victims of a landmine explosion that killed eight people Sunday near the town of Bulaburde, south-central Somalia.

Wafaa Saeed Abdelatef, the UNICEF representative in Somalia, said the children were part of two families traveling in an auto-rickshaw when it struck the landmine.

"The safety of children must be the primary consideration in all situations, and no effort should be spared in upholding their rights to a safe and protective environment," Saeed said in a statement issued in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Wednesday evening.

She said the tragic incident came barely a month after 22 children were killed by unexploded ordnance in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, once again highlighting the dangers children in Somalia face as they go about their daily lives.

"Losing loved ones in such tragic circumstances is heartbreaking. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and wish the injured a quick recovery," Saeed said.

After decades of conflict, Somalia has become one of the most dangerous places on earth for children, according to the recent UN Secretary-General's Report on Children and Armed Conflict.

In 2022, more than 3,000 cases of grave child rights violations were verified, with 200 children killed and nearly 600 maimed.

"All parties to the conflict in Somalia have a duty to handle ordnance with care, to avoid contaminating populated and transit areas with explosive remnants of war, to clear existing mines and unexploded devices, and to scale up mine risk education among children and communities," Saeed said.

UNICEF is working with the government and partners to provide care and assistance to child victims of landmines in Somalia and with civil society actors to provide risk education and awareness on explosive ordnance to children and their caregivers to better protect themselves.