US to loosen restrictions on landmine use

31 January 2020
US to loosen restrictions on landmine use
Landmine. Photo: EPA

The Trump administration is expected to loosen restrictions on the US military's ability to use landmines in the coming days, weapons that have been banned by more than 160 countries due to their history of killing and wounding civilians, CNN reported.

The move represents a major reversal from the approach of the Obama administration which in 2014 committed the US to largely adhering to the 1997 Ottawa Convention, the international agreement which banned the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. The Obama policy committed to replacing landmines in the US stockpile after they expire and directed the destruction of stockpiles not required for the defence of South Korea.

The easing of restrictions on the use of landmines was criticized by lawmakers and anti-landmine campaigners.