LETTER : Creeping peril of land mines

Sir: Christopher Bellamy's report on Britain's increasing isolation in opposing a ban on land mines (19 March) highlights the Government's view that "anti-personnel mines have a role as defensive weapons provided their positions are accurately recorded". This view presupposes that mines will stay put once placed, which is not always the case.

Torrential rain in Mozambique this month has flooded a wide area including the heavily mined Manhica district. Many of the 200,000 people affected have lost their homes and belongings. Once the waters subside, some may face the added danger of mines displaced by the floods from known minefields.

Only a total ban offers long-term hope of significantly reducing the daily toll of suffering anti-personnel mines inflict.

Martin Cottingham

Christian Aid

London SE1