by Work the World

Five years after the end of the civil war between the army and Maoist rebels, the UN has declared Nepal free of landmines after troops destroyed the country's last minefield. 

The BBC reports that there have been 473 casualties in Nepal - 78 of which were fatal - since the war ended. Now Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal has flipped a switch to trigger the last landmine and made Nepal the second country after China to become landmine-free.

The BBC's Joanna Jolly in Kathmandu says the blowing up of the last mine at Phulchoki was a symbolic end to this side of the conflict - but Nepal's political parties still have a long way to go before they secure peace. Although it has committed to mine clearing, Nepal is yet to sign the international Ottawa treaty banning all landmines and there is much to do to ensure conflict does not return to the country.

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