17 November 2011
“I sincerely wish that this time governments will go beyond words and take concrete actions to effectively implement the Mine Ban Treaty” – interview with ICBL campaigner Francky Miantuala from the Democratic Republic of Congo
With one week to go until the 11MSP, ICBL interviewed Francky Miantuala from the Campagne congolaise pour interdire les mines (CCIM). Here Francky talks about how he got involved in the campaign and what he wants to see happen at the 11MSP. In the run up to the 11MSP, which is being held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, between 28 November and 2 December 2011, the ICBL is highlighting the amazing work of some of our campaigners from around the world. Read their stories in their own words and how they are working hard to Push For Progress towards a mine free world.
1. How and when did you become involved with the ICBL?
I became involved back in 2002 when I attended a workshop on the Mine Ban Treaty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The workshop was co-organised by the Canadian and Congolese governments. After this workshop took place the DRC acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty, in May 2002. My colleague and I were the only members of civil society from DRC who attended the workshop and there we met and discussed with Stan Brabant from Handicap International, who advised us to get in touch with the ICBL.
2. Why did you become involved?
I became involved through a stroke of luck. Back in 2000, I became a member of the NGO called ADDIHAC (Agency promoting the International Humanitarian Law in Central Africa). This NGO had carried out a survey in 1998 regarding the presence of landmines in Kimpangu in the province of lower Congo. Reading this report inspired me and made me understand that I had to play a role in eradicating landmines in my own country. Starting from then, I started campaigning for my country to: accede to the Mine Ban Treaty, report on their obligations, destroy stockpiles, assist landmine survivors and overall implement the treaty.
3. As an ICBL National campaigner, how would like to see states push for the progress at the 11MSP?
My personal assessment is that many governments make statements and commit but do not turn their commitments to action on the ground. I sincerely wish that this time governments will go beyond words and take concrete actions to effectively implement the Mine Ban Treaty.I would like my country DRC to provide measureable updates on progress made in assisting Congolese landmine survivors, and I hope that the DRC reaffirms its commitment to meet its obligations under the MBT in a timely and efficient manner.
4. What message do you have for anyone out there who isn’t aware of the lethal threat landmines still pose for thousands of civilians every day?
My message is that a landmine that is still in the ground means a sacrificed life, it is time to stop with this awful practice. We the campaigners against landmines need your support to get rid of landmines and address the needs of over half million landmine survivors.