Halo Trust resumes Afghanistan explosive clearance work

2 months ago 23
Mobile Application for your business
White Cloud

image sourceGetty Images

image captionThe Halo Trust said its work was needed to help avoid a rise in casualties

The largest landmine clearing charity in Afghanistan has struck an agreement with the Taliban to resume its work clearing unexploded munitions.

The Halo Trust, which has its headquarters in Scotland, evacuated all its foreign staff last month.

It said at the time that it hoped to return to its clearing work to help avoid a rise in casualties.

It has now confirmed that it has reached agreement to resume its operations around the country.

image sourceGetty Images

image captionThe charity helps to clear live mortar shells, grenades and improvised explosive devices

The Halo Trust - with its HQ near Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway - has been working in Afghanistan for decades.

Its "very small component" of international staff was evacuated last month as the Taliban took control.

However, it has now been cleared to return to work.

A total of 1,400 of its local Afghan employees are deploying to five provinces around the country.

image sourceGetty Images

image captionThe Halo Trust has been working in Afghanistan for decades

They will carry on their work disposing of live mortar shells, grenades and improvised explosive devices.

A spokesman for the charity said they had obtained the Taliban's permission, having already worked in Taliban-controlled areas during the years of insurgency.

Paul McCann added that their work had a particular urgency this month as so many Afghans were on the move.

The Halo Trust has said there is an "absolutely huge requirement" for its operations as large numbers of people try to return to their homes with the potential for a "big spike" in casualties.

What is the Halo Trust?

image sourceGetty Images

image captionThe Halo Trust gained international attention in 1997 when Princess Diana walked through one of its minefields

The Halo Trust was formed in 1988 in response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan due to the landmines left behind as Soviet troops withdrew.

From a base at Carronbridge in rural southern Scotland it has grown to employ nearly 9,000 staff in dozens of countries around the world.

It gained international attention in 1997 when Princess Diana walked through one of its minefields in Angola.

Its work in that country alone is estimated to have seen nearly 100,000 landmines destroyed.

image sourceGetty Images

image captionThe Scottish charity has grown to employ thousands of staff in dozens of countries

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has announced aid of £250,000 will be made available to provide critical help for the people of Afghanistan.

It follows a commitment to "play its full part" in the settlement of any refugees.

Scotland's councils have said more than 40 families have arrived from Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said 60 more families were expected in coming weeks.

It said they were staying in eight council areas with officials working hard to identify further properties.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Read Entire Article