CNF Ratifies Anti-Landmine Treaty
9 August 2006 – Committing itself to international humanitarian norms, the Chin National Front signed anti-personnel landmine ban treaty with the Geneva Call last week in Geneva.
Geneva Call is an international humanitarian non-governmental organization based in Geneva, which engages armed groups and non-state actors (NSAs) to commit themeselves to a total ban on landmine.
The treaty, which obligates armed groups to ban the use and stockpiles of all victim-activated mines, takes effect for the Chin National Front August 1, 2006 following its signing of the “Deed of Commitment Under Geneva Call for Adherence to A Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action.” Under this commitment, the CNF will subject itself to international scrutiny and monitoring under the auspices of Geneva Call.
“We voluntarily signed this treaty because we care about the lives of innocent civilians. Our accession to the treaty is our statement to the world that we denounce the indiscriminate use of violence against non-combatants and innocent civilians in all its forms and that we are committed to adhering to international humanitarian and legal norms,” explains Colonel Ral Hnin, Chief of Staff of the Chin National Army, a military wing of the CNF.
Burma has not yet signed or acceded to a similar multilateral agreement, popularly known as the “Ottawa Treaty” which bans the use, production, stockpile or transfer of landmines. As of 2002, a total of 145 countries in the world have signed the treaty. The 2004 Landmine Monitor Report identifies Burma’s ruling military regime as one of the only two governments in the world to have used anti-personnel mines consistently in the last several years.
The CNF is the the third armed group in Burma to accede to the the landmine ban treaty after the Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO) and the National United Party of Arakan (NUPA). A total of 29 armed groups worldwide have already signed the ‘deed of commitment’ under the Geneva Call. Through the treaty, the Genva Call is mandated to monitor and investigate alleged violations by signatory groups.
By Salai Za Uk Ling