Lebanon: Cluster bomb removal struggling

February 17th, 2009 | Posted in Cluster Munitions, Lebanon
    February 2009. United Press International (UPI).

    Photo: Rebuilding after an Israeli bombing in the Middle East.

Beirut, Lebanon. The removal of cluster bombs strewn throughout southern Lebanon is slowing as international funding for the efforts has dwindled, an official says.

Tekimiti Gilbert, acting program manager for the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center, said mine clearance organizations are struggling to retain international funding and interest in bomb removal efforts, the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks said Thursday.

“For almost all the organizations, it’s a continuous struggle to generate enough interest and funding to keep the teams on the ground working, which obviously has an impact on the amount of cluster bombs (bomblets) they can clear,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said while 44 teams were working to remove the bombs in 2008, only 27 teams are currently taking part in such efforts in Lebanon. The U.N. official also warned six more teams could be dropped at the end of March unless the funding dilemma changes dramatically.

Hundreds of thousands of cluster bombs are thought to be spread throughout parts of southern Lebanon, IRIN reported.

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