(BBC) – US President Donald Trump has lifted restrictions on the deployment of anti-personnel landmines by American forces. The decision reverses a 2014 Obama administration ban on the use of such weapons, which applied everywhere in the world except for in the defence of South Korea. US forces will now be free to use the weapons across the world “in exceptional circumstances”, the White House said.
The US participated in the Ottawa Process, which led to the creation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. The Clinton administration set the goal of joining in 2006. However, in 2004, the Bush administration announced a new policy rejecting the treaty. The 2014 policy by the Obama administration once again set the goal of joining the Mine Ban Treaty, but President Barack Obama never sent the treaty to the Senate recommending US accession.
The use of anti-personnel landmines has been banned by 164 countries, and yet they’re still being used in conflicts around the world. In 2017, more than 7,000 casualties were caused by mines and other explosive remnants of war, including nearly 2,800 deaths, according to the Landmine Monitor. There are an estimated 110 million anti-personnel mines still in the ground with more being laid every year.
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