The 30-year struggle between Ethiopia and Eritrea (1961–1991), as well as the border conflict between the two countries (1998–2000), left a legacy of serious mine and UXO contamination throughout much of Eritrea. The problem was not seriously addressed until four years ago with the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2000. This peace process rapidly opened the doors for a number of interested mine action players—including the United Nations as well as international mine action non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—to enter the arena and tackle the landmine problem of Eritrea. [Prior to this moment,] there was only a modest national capacity in place to deal with the contamination throughout the country.



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