Letter: Land-mine ban

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The Independent Online
Sir: There has been for some time a campaign to encourage the British government to join the majority of western countries in a total ban on the manufacture of anti-personnel mines, commonly known as land- mines.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US, General John Shalikashvili, seems to have changed his mind in favour of a total ban in the US, leaving our government isolated in the international community.

Land-mines kill and maim indiscriminately. Survivors usually lose at least one limb, and the subsequent care needed and human productivity lost is unimaginable.

I would very much welcome an announcement by the British government that it, too, finds the production of these abhorrent weapons insupportable, and will order a ban on manufacture. Britain has, of course, not exported land-mines for over a decade.

Matthias von Boeventer

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire