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US moves to phase out landmines

A Colombian army engineer marks the place where a landmine could be in the mountainous San Francisco municipality, East Antioquia department, Colombia, on April 2, 2011The United States signaled Friday its intent to eliminate its stockpile of anti-personnel landmines and eventually join a global treaty banning them, boosting efforts to rid the world of the weapons. The high-profile announcement was made at a conference in Mozambique’s capital Maputo aimed at ultimately ensuring no armed forces use anti-personnel mines by 2025. “The United States took the step of declaring it will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines in the future, including to replace existing stockpiles as they expire,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. In 2009, Washington said it was reviewing its position on landmines but — along with rivals China and Russia — has failed to sign the Ottawa Convention that bans the use of APLs and envisions their eventual elimination.

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