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Landmines join the drought of Ethiopian nomads

The battle between the Ethiopian government and the Tigrinya army may have stopped, but nomads in western Afar continue to fight to survive.

The record drought in the Horn of Africa, which killed millions of livestock, was exacerbated by land mines left by combatants.

Herder Hassen Arebti Hassen's 4-year-old daughter was injured in a land mine, and weapons also killed his animals.

He said land mines were everywhere and many animals died on land mines.

Land mines and other explosives are so common in the area that some locals use crate wood as a building material.

9-year-old Ali Omer said he was killed by a land mine while his 10-year-old friend was grazing a goat.

"We were there to take care of the goats, but my friend died," he said.

Omer said his friend was playing by throwing stones at mines, but he picked them up and threw them on the ground.

Omer was also injured.

His father, Oumer Hadeto, said that despite the drought, mines scare them all to collect water.

Mr. Hadeto said the community did not know what to do and had to spend a lot of money to buy food for their families and animals. He added that the mines need to be removed.

After talking to the locals, VOA was unable to determine which side of the conflict laid the mine.

Bekelegonfa, executive director of Addis Ababa's nonprofit organization that supports landmine victims, said people in Ethiopia's mining areas, such as Chikhura, need help.

"Medical care is the number one, and psychosocial support, including counseling, is provided, especially that is what the organization is basically working on. The general public and the community. [] Get risk education to keep yourself away from the mine. "

However, due to the ongoing drought, the Chikhura people have no choice but to risk land mines if they want to find food for animals and collect water to survive.