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Estonia Helping to Clear Mali of Mines


No 78-E

The Foreign Ministry is supporting mine-clearing activity in Mali with a donation through the UN Mine Action Service.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that it is essential to take steps in Mali towards clearing mined areas. “In addition to clearing the areas, the UN Mine Action Service also helps to reduce the risks stemming from unexploded mines, which could prevent humanitarian aid from being delivered or refugees from returning to their homes,” said Paet.

In addition to straightforward  mine-clearing activity, the Mine Action Service also provides safety education and gives aid to victims, as well as co-ordinates the activities of various international partners in Mali’s fight against mines.

Foreign Minister Paet also emphasised that in order to stabilise the security situation in Mali and resolve the humanitarian situation, the whole international community should work together. “Estonia believes that the EU military training mission EUTM Mali should start in the country as soon as possible. Estonia is contributing two staff officers to the mission,” he noted.

The foreign minister added that helping Mali in its fight against mines and the clearing of unexploded remnants of war can be viewed in conjunction with Estonia’s contribution to the EU’s Mali training mission. “Supporting mine-clearing activity also helps to ensure the safety of the aforementioned mission,” Paet said.

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the mine-clearing activities of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Mali with 20 000 dollars donated to its voluntary trust fund.

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