France tells Algeria where war mines are buried

22nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 October 2007 , ALGIERS (AFP) - France handed over to Algeria Saturday details of where its forces laid millions of landmines on the country's eastern and western borders half-a-century ago, the French embassy in Algiers said.

22 October 2007

ALGIERS (AFP) - France handed over to Algeria Saturday details of where its forces laid millions of landmines on the country's eastern and western borders half-a-century ago, the French embassy in Algiers said.

"General Jean-Louis Georgelin, chief of the armed forces general staff, officially delivered to his Algerian counterpart, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, the plans of minefields laid ... by the French army between 1956 and 1959," an embassy statement said.

According to Algiers, some three million anti-personnel mines planted on Algeria's borders with Morocco and Tunisia to prevent independence fighters infiltrating the then French colony are still in place.

It has long demanded that France reveal the plans of the minefields stretching some 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) along the borders.

Algerian newspapers regularly report accidents to local people, particularly herders and children, while Algiers is committed to destroying all anti-personnel mines on its territory under the Ottawa Convention.

The French statement said Paris wanted to "move forward in removing the obstacles inherited from the past and build relations of trust with Algeria."

Georgelin, who arrived on Saturday for a four-day visit, told Salah that the French army was keen to increase military cooperation between the two countries.

AFP

Subject: French news

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