The UNICEF country chief Joseph Foumbi has congratulated government for being the first country in the world to be declared landmine free.
Rwanda was declared land mine free last week by the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World in Colombia.
According to Foumbi, Rwanda has continued to lead by example amongst other African countries in ensuring the well-being of its children.
“This declaration is extremely significant as it shows to the world that a poor country, which has been devastated by war, can still take strong actions to ensure the rights, lives and well-being of its children,” he said
Foumbi added; “I would also like to congratulate the Government of Rwanda for again being amongst the first in the world where action for children and women is concerned.”
“Landmines were laid in Rwanda just before and during the war of 1990 and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and were responsible for killing and disabling hundreds of people, many of whom children,” says a statement from UNICEF.
The Ministry of Defence launched a comprehensive de-mining programme in the late 90s - with the support of several governments and development partners, including UNICEF and was able to destroy over 9, 000 land mines.
This programme involved not only de-mining activities, but a huge awareness campaign to reach the entire population, including school children around the country.
To be declared as landmine-free, Rwanda had to meet the conditions of the Ottawa Landmine Treaty.