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World Bank consultant killed in landmine blast

A World Bank consultant was killed on Sunday when a car in which he and two others were travelling detonated a landmine in the southern Zambia, anti-landmines activists told IRIN on Tuesday.

Muleya Mwananyanda of the Zambian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ZCBL) said the consultant, Denis Berejena, was killed instantly when their jeep detonated a landmine. “The Kenyan driver and the secretary of a district council, who were travelling with Berejena, were critically injured and have been admitted to hospital,” Mwananyanda said.

According to Mwananyanda, Berejena was travelling with a convoy of nine vehicles with officials and consultants conducting a survey for a World Bank-funded development project in the Gwembe valley.

“The jeep in which Berejena and the two others were travelling in was the last in the convoy, and suddenly it exploded,” she said.

Mwananyanda also said the Zambian areas bordering Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe “have thousands of landmines” that were planted in the 1970s during the liberation struggles in Southern Africa. “Although we don’t have exact numbers, villagers in and around these areas know where landmines have been planted and have deserted the areas, leaving them sparsely populated.”

She added that there is no government-led initiative to de-mine these areas, as far as ZCBL was aware. “These areas are difficult to get to and therefore we never get to know if there are any recent victims of these landmines.”

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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