The U.K. Department for International Development is reportedly cutting its support for land mine clearing projects in five post-conflict and war-torn countries.
The U.K. government has axed demining programs in Angola, Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia and Sri Lanka, the Independent reports, citing leaked government documents.
The move has earned criticisms from various parties, including a former U.S. ambassador to Angola.
“I cannot believe what DFID is doing. It will mean the maiming and killing of people will continue apace [as] people go back to [mine-ridden] rural areas which were depopulated. The casualties will continue unless these mines are pulled out, and they will not get pulled out on their own,” Dan Mozena said as quoted by the Independent.
Meanwhile, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development is consulting with mining experts and considering “how best to spend taxpayers’ money,” a spokesperson for DfID said, according to the U.K.-based newspaper.