LANSA Boss Opts For Explosive Reduction In Communities

Michael S. Yorwah
Chairman, Liberia Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA)

The Chairman of the Liberia Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA), Mr. Michael S. Yorwah, is calling on the government to promote actions that will reduce explosives in populated areas and to protect civilians during conflict by enacting into law international political declarations.

Yorwah noted that the commitment by government to stop the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas should be central to a declaration which will provide the best practical mechanism for reducing civilian harm.

“Whilst not a legally-binding commitment, a political declaration seeks to influence the behavior of states by promoting a clear international standard of practice,” he added.

Speaking at a news conference in Monrovia yesterday  Yorwah pointed out that a political declaration signed by a group of states would provide a tool that promotes operational policy and practice to better protect civilians as well as provide a framework for states to work together to achieve that purpose.

Civilian harm from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas has been highlighted as a top humanitarian priority following the increase in conflicts in urban settings resulting in high levels of civilian casualties in recent years.

Data shows that when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, about 91 percent of those reportedly killed and injured are civilians.

In 2016, over 32,000 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in several countries, with Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Turkey topping the list of civilian deaths and injuries.

He further that Civilian harm from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas has been highlighted as a top humanitarian priority following the increase in recent years of conflicts taking place in urban settings resulting in high levels of civilian casualties.

According to him, Data shows that when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, approximately 91% of those reported killed and injured are civilians. In 2016, over 32,000 civilians were recorded killed or injured by explosive weapons, with Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Turkey having the highest numbers of civilian deaths and injuries, and with incidents of explosive violence taking place in 70 countries. 

Yorwah pointed out that beyond those killed and injured, an even greater number of civilians are affected as a result of damage to essential infrastructure and services. The bombing and bombardment of towns and cities destroys homes leaving people without shelter.

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About Cholo Brooks 11611 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.