Minister: 18 million mines left in Egypt

"World War II is still claiming the lives of Egyptians," said International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abul Naga in parliament Tuesday, condemning the international community for its passive stance on the 18 million land mines left in Egypt since the war.

"Those mines cover exactly 22 percent of Egypt’s total area," the minister said, pointing out that the armed forces have succeeded in clearing some three million acres.

"This vast area is rich with oil and minerals," she added, "and it contains 30 unique plant species that are found nowhere else in the world."

The minister explained that Egypt has the second largest number of unexploded mines after Angola. "We had nothing to do with this war for England, Italy and Germany to plant those mines in our land," she said, adding that the cost of de-mining is enormous.

According to Abul Naga, England made Italy and Germany renege on previous promises to help resolve the problem, in fear that Egypt would demand financial compensation from those countries.

"We plan to hold an exhibition at the Italian Ambassador’s home and show pictures of mine victims to urge those countries to fulfill their moral responsibility," she said.

Parliament’s foreign commission promised to present the issue before the European Parliament and the United Nations.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button