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Reference : V-F-CR-F-00662-E
Date : 03/2001
Country/Region : ALBANIA
Title : 2001 : Red Cross activities in Albania
Duration : 00:12:15
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Production company : ICRC
Cameraman : SIDLER, Roland
Description : Thousands of anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs lie hidden just beneath the surface of the tranquil landscape of north-east Albania, the deadly legacy of the war in neighbouring Kosovo. For the women of the region, the war has brought double tragedy. Many have lost husbands or sons during the brief conflict, or have since suffered terrible injuries caused by explosive devices scattered across their farmland. The area worst affected by mines is the 76 kilometre strip of land dividing Kosovo and Albania. There are no maps or plans of the minefields here. Since May 1999, there have been at least 140 reported casualties and 20 deaths - the true figures could be much higher since many incidents go unreported in isolated areas. Fame Sallahi and her cousin Rush both lost lower legs in the same landmine accident, while herding their cows. Fame has learned to walk again using an artificial leg but she cannot carry out her work on the farm, and feels a burden to her family. Returning to the mined area with ICRC Field Officer Mali Alibali, the two cousins explain how the accident happened. Fame stepped into the mined area, just a few centimetres from the road, detonating a hidden landmine. Rush tried to help her cousin, but in the process set off another explosion which blew off her leg too. Terrified of crawling back to the road for fear of losing their hands in the process, the women had to wait two hours before help arrived. Demining the area will be a painstakingly slow process and demands specialist equipment and expertise. The ICRC has trained 15 Albanian Red Cross volunteers and a coordinator in developing mine awareness programmes in northern Albania and, in June 2000, carried out a joint assessment with a mine clearance NGO to determine the frill extent of the problem and to try to raise fbnds to start the demining process. Meanwhile, the ICRC is providing help in the form of food parcels for mine victims who are unable to look after themselves. Naile Cahoni lost the use of her hand in a cluster bomb explosion and relies heavily on such assistance. Her entire village is surrounded by minefields making it impossible for her family to carry out their normal farming activities, or even to cut adequate supplies of wood for thel. Many women in Albania lost husbands or sons in the conflict in Kosovo, or are still separated from menfolk imprisoned in Serbian detention centres. Life is particularly hard for women forced to care for their children with no regular income or outside support. In isolated parts of Albania, at Red Cross run health information sessions, women are encouraged to get to gether to discuss their problems and how to cope with the tough realities of everyday life.
Original language : English
Other language : International soundtrack
English title : 2001 : Red Cross activities in Albania
Colour/B&W : colour
Original material/format : Betacam SP
Best material/format available : Betacam SP

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