Anti-personnel mines are cheap, long-lasting and deadly. Now there are hopes for a ban
Campaigners against land-mines were encouraged by an announcement by South African Defence Minister Joe Modise on 20 February. His country had banned the use and manufacture of anti-personnel (AP) mines, he said, and would destroy the 160,000 such weapons that it had in stock. Significantly, though, he added that South Africa would keep its stock of anti-vehicle mines and continue research into 'smart' mines, which are supposed to destroy themselves after a fixed period (though misuse and technical failure ensure that they often don't). The statement was timed for the Fourth International Non-Governmental Conference to Ban Landmines, which opened on 25 February in neighbouring Mozambique.
End of preview - This article contains approximately 1124 words.