UN chief welcomes revocation of U.S. sanctions against ICC officials

UN calls for joint efforts to eliminate threat of explosive hazards in Somalia

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UNITED NATIONS, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday welcomed the revocation by the United States of former President Donald Trump’s executive order on sanctions against senior officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC plays an important role in advancing accountability for international crimes. The secretary-general affirms the continued cooperation of the United Nations under the Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the ICC, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, in a statement.

Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) program director in Somalia said the major impact of explosive hazards is on civilians and particularly on children.

 

“Together, we must press on to reinforce the development of national mine-action capacities and continue to support Somalia, ensuring protection of civilians as well as social and economic development,” Sadozai said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

 

According to statistics from the UNMAS program in Somalia, there were 1,140 civilian casualties due to improvised explosive devices (IED) in 2019.

 

The number dropped to 454 in 2020. Also, in 2019, there were 59 civilian casualties due to explosive remnants of war (ERW) and that number dropped to 53 in 2020.

 

While there has been a welcome decline in the number of casualties, they are still a major concern that requires dedicated attention, according to the UNMAS in Somalia.

 

Sadozai said the UNMAS is working with the Somali government and the Federal Member States, along with partners to support the Somalia Transition Plan.

 

“This includes clearing explosive hazards, delivering explosive ordnance risk education, raising awareness at the community level, enhancing national mine action capabilities, and supporting government efforts to serve survivors of landmines and explosive remnants of war and persons with disabilities,” UNMAS said.

“While the country is improving in preventing explosive hazards, we must continue to work together to rid Somalia of this scourge which not only kills and injures so many innocent civilians each year, but also puts a brake on the country’s development,” Swan said.

 

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