Maslen Weighs into Turkey Demining Debate

Stuart Casey-Maslen of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines weighed in on the debate in Turkey about how to clear its minefields along its Syrian border. (Click here to read the whole article).

Much of the debate has focussed on whether to use foreign commercial companies to conduct clearance. (See this previous Political Minefields post).  However, Maslen said the Turkish government had not adequately considered the option of using international NGOs.  Another Turkish newspaper reported that HALO Trust “were aware of the debate in Turkey and might be interested [to help] if asked.”

Research by Political Minefields in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan has suggested that using humanitarian NGOs rather than commercial companies can often be a better move for demining programs. International NGOs are often safer and better able to communicate with the local population.

Casey-Maslen also questioned plans by the government to give long-term leases on the demined land to commercial companies that cleared it.  He said the government must consider the property rights of the land’s owners.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 4 June 2009.

One Response to “Maslen Weighs into Turkey Demining Debate”

  1. Matthew, wow!! I had no idea about the demining issues. Thanks for posting this.

    BTW, are you really in Turkey at the moment? Wow. Is that where you live?

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