Friday, October 11, 2013

Landmines and Cluster Bombs

The above linked article is actually a letter from the United Nations Director Philippe Bolopion and the Executive Director of the Arms Division Stephen Goose to the permanent representative of Libya to the United Nations Ibrahim O. Dabbashi. The letter is about landmines and cluster bombs. Bolopion and Goose point out that Libya has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty or embraced the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Lots of landmines and cluster bombs were left after the 2011 conflict and were not removed.  These mines and bombs pose a threat to the civilians of Libya and have already caused harm to many innocents.  One big issue with wars is the effect war has on the civilians of the area under conflict. Many wars lead to human rights violations like rape of women when an area is taken by the enemy or torture of soldiers who are captured.  However, violations of human rights can continue even after a war is over.  For example, the winning side could refuse to supply the citizens of the defeated side with food or water.  Not removing landmines and cluster bombs is another example.  Governments have the technology to get rid of these dangerous weapons.  Libya chooses not to.  The government is directly putting its citizens in harms way by neglecting to remove the mines and bombs.  A government has a duty to protect its people and lead fairly.  A government is not doing its job if it is violating human rights.  These citizens are unarmed and innocent with no way to protect themselves.  They have no way to know whether their walk to work or to the market could be their last.  What these people rely on for protection is failing them and the one causing the problem in the first place.  Though my government is currently failing me, as it is shutdown, at least I can count on it for my protection. It is unfair that the rest of the world cannot do the same.

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