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Abstract

Engaging a non-state armed group in any aspect of mine action is based on the same concerns of humanitarian action that are the basis of engaging any state authority, but more time may be needed to educate non-state groups in humanitarian norms to which they are unable to accede, and by which they may not feel bound. Most non-state actors (NSAs) will engage in armed conflict. If the conflict is over, they have either dissolved or become a part of the official governing structure. If they are mine users, mine action will be similar to that undertaken in states that are not yet members of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty. We chose to approach the Karen National Union (KNU) of Burma because they were one of the key mine users, outside state forces, and the population of Karen (Kayin) State was one of the most mine-affected. In short, it was where the need was the greatest.

 

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