Can this giant ball rid the world of landmines?
2012-10-24 0:00


It might look like an unused prop from the Star Wars films, but this giant ball has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Like a giant clump of dandelion seeds, it is designed to be blown around in the wind detonating landmines in its path.

Made simply of bamboo, iron and plastic, each one is relatively cheap to produce and can clear up to four bombs before being destroyed themselves.

Each device, called Mine Kafon, will have a GPS tracking device linked to a website to show which areas have been cleared.

They are the brainchild of Massoud Hassani, who at the age of 14 fled war-torn Afghanistan, where there are more landmines than people.

Having a blast: Each device can include a GPS tracking device to show which areas have been cleared.

Mr Hassani said he had the idea for his invention after making miniature models during his childhood.

He and his brother would make their own toys, small wind-powered cylinders which would often get blown into a minefield, where they could not get them back.

He said: ’Me and my brother Mahmud, we played every day on the fields surrounded with the highest mountains in our neighborhood.

’There was always a strong wind waving towards the mountains. While we were racing against each other, our small miniatures rolled way to fast and too far.

’Mostly they landed in areas where we were not allowed to step a foot on.

’Those areas were very dangerous because of the landmines. It was full of them. I still remember those friends that we have lost and saw them getting injured.’

He said: ’I thought "I am going to make these objects 20 times bigger and heavier".

’There are 30million landmines in Afghanistan and 26million people, so that’s more mines than people.’


Read the full article at:

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines is deeply concerned by recent claims that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – the main armed opposition group currently fighting the Syrian government – intends to use landmines in armed conflict against the Assad regime.

On Wednesday 1 August 2012 an Al Jazeera report featured a statement from a combatant who said he was with the rebel group, and that the FSA would re-use antipersonnel mines that they have lifted from minefields laid by Syrian government troops near the Turkish border earlier this year.
“These indiscriminate weapons are far more likely to maim or kill a civilian than a combatant, which is why they’ve been internationally banned. Antipersonnel landmines must not be used by anyone, at any time, regardless of the situation,” said Kasia Derlicka, Director of the ICBL.

Since the armed conflict in Syria started, mines have been newly laid on Syria’s borders with neighboring countries.

Land Mine Treaty Won’t Be Signed By Obama Administration (2009)
The Obama administration has decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that the administration recently completed a review and decided not to change the Bush-era policy.

"We decided that our land mine policy remains in effect," he said.

More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty’s provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Besides the United States, holdouts include: China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.


RIC Note:
Other non-signatories include: Israel, Iran, Syria, Libya, Korea and Bahrain, 36 countries in all.
So, can a ball "rid the world of landmines"? It can help, but countries actively working towards peace and disarmament are MUCH more effective.

Why haven’t they signed?


Related Articles
Jesus’ baptism site still surrounded by landmines months before opening
IoS Investigation: The shocking truth about landmines
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Peronnel Mines and Their Destruction

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