Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Guinea-Bissau May Become First African State to Clear Land Mines

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- Guinea-Bissau will be completely free of land mines by the end of next year, a former U.S. ambassador to the country and head of its largest mine-removal agency said.

The disarming of several thousand land mines left buried in the Maryland-sized country could make Guinea-Bissau the first African nation to rid itself of mines, John Blacken, the founder of Humaid, said in an interview on May 20.

“Every time you take a land mine out of the ground, that’s a threat gone,” said Blacken, who was U.S. ambassador to the West African nation from 1986 to 1989. “It’s someone’s life.”

Many of the mines in Guinea-Bissau date back to the war of independence from Portugal between 1963 and 1974 and a civil war in 1998 and 1999. The country has a population of 1.6 million.

Worldwide, more than 24,000 people a year, most of them civilians, are killed or maimed by land mines, according to the United Nations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Drew Hinshaw in Dakar via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.