January 31, 2020

Menendez Statement on Trump Admin's Roll Back of Restrictions of U.S. Use and Production of Antipersonnel Landmines

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the State Department formally informed Congress of President Trump’s decision to roll back restrictions on the U.S. government’s use and production of antipersonnel landmines (APL): 

“By enabling and encouraging the scourge of anti-personnel landmines around the world, President Trump has found yet another disturbing way to undo the progress made to restrict the harm to civilians these indiscriminate weapons cause. 

There is a reason why more than 160 countries have banned the use of antipersonnel landmines. Like machine guns, APL’s are gruesome weapons useful only to kill people in the battlefield; but the reality is these devices often end up causing horrific casualties and deaths of innocent men, women and children off the battlefield.  Their military utility has been rightfully challenged, especially when compared to the longstanding consequences to civilians. In post-conflict countries throughout the world, history has taught us a devastating lesson on the destructive impact of minefields as people seek to rebuild their countries and their lives.

 From insurgent forces to governments less likely to defend human rights, the implications of this decision will have serious global ramifications for protecting the innocent, economic development, reconstruction of war-torn areas, as well as the repatriation of refugees and displaced persons throughout the world.”   


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