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02/02/2004: Stuff That Does't Suck Stuff That Doesn't Suck

Improvised Booty Device (IBD)
from Control Risks Group [subscription required]

The US State Department said that Djibouti has become the first African country to be declared 'mine-safe' and that the country was now free of landmines.

Monday the 2nd of February, State Department noted:

Copyright 2004 States News Service
States News Service

January 29, 2004 Thursday

LENGTH: 356 words


BYLINE: States News Service



The U.S. Department of State issued the following press release:

Today Djibouti celebrates the successful completion of its humanitarian mine
action program by becoming the first country in the Horn of Africa to declare
itself free from the most pressing and hazardous impacts from landmines and
unexploded ordnance. With this declaration, Djibouti joins Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Moldova, and the province of Kosovo, all beneficiaries of the U.S.
Humanitarian Mine Action Program, in transitioning from "mine-affected" to
"mine-safe" status.

"We salute the government and people of Djibouti for this remarkable
achievement," remarked Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., the Special Representative of
the President and Secretary of State for Mine Action who also serves as
Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs. "By removing the dangerous
remnants of war hiding in its villages, schools and water holes, Djibouti
strengthens unity among its people and enables them to live without fear."

For thirteen years, parts of Djibouti were infested by persistent landmines
and unexploded ordnance left from a 1991 to 1994 internal conflict. The United
States began providing mine action assistance to Djibouti in fiscal year 2000.
In 2001, a contingent of U.S. Marines provided humanitarian demining training to
Djiboutian army engineers. Simultaneously, RONCO Consulting Corporation, under
contract to the U.S. Department of State and in coordination with the U.S.
Embassy in Djibouti, established and equipped the Djibouti Mine Action Center.
The United States invested nearly $3 million dollars to help make Djibouti
landmine impact free.

Other Horn of Africa nations remain affected by persistent landmines and
unexploded ordnance. The U.S. provided significant mine action aid to Ethiopia
and northwest Somalia for several years and continues to provide such support to

To learn more about the U.S. Department of State's humanitarian mine action
programs in 30 other countries and its related small arms and light weapons
abatement efforts, visit