Rwanda - Beneath the Surface
The 1994 war and genocide in Rwanda had many consequences - economic, political and social. One was the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance that were scattered throughout the country. It was estimated that 20,000 people lived and worked among minefields and the effect on local communities was devastating.
In 2002 Rwanda along with many other landmine affected countries signed up to Article 5 of the Ottawa Convention - committing to clear their country of landmines by 2010.
The Rwandan people have met this challenge head on and in 2009 the country will be declared landmine free - a year ahead of schedule and one of the only countries to achieve this.
With a never ending cycle of corruption and poverty destroying many African nations from within, the Rwandan landmine clearance success story stands alone as an example to the rest of the world that by using outside aid in a positive and constructive way, anything is possible.