WASHINGTON – Amnesty International USA is appalled by the reports that the Trump administration is planning to allow the production and use of landmines in potential future conflicts—a weapon that the global community has rejected as being dangerously indiscriminate. If the reports are confirmed, it would make the United States one of only a handful of state forces worldwide, along with Myanmar, North Korea and Syria, to openly use antipersonnel landmines in recent years despite the weapons being banned by an international treaty in 1997.
The restriction on the production and use of landmines was based on research that showed the horrific human cost these weapons have caused over the years. Any action to ease restrictions on their use and availability is a massive step backward.
“There is a reason why the use of antipersonnel landmines is illegal: they can’t distinguish between fighters and ordinary people, and often continue to kill and maim for years after conflicts end,” said Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International USA spokesperson. “This decision is consistent with an administration that has proven itself indifferent to human lives and suffering by withdrawing from the global Arms Trade Treaty and more recently by easing oversight of US arms exports. It shows that the Trump administration is either ignorant of or unconcerned with the consequences of driving the world towards more irresponsible arms exports and inhumane weapons like landmines.”
Amnesty International, as a member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, urges all governments to ban the use, production, stockpiling, or transfer of anti-personnel landmines and to join and implement the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
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