Prince Harry joins landmine crusade in footsteps of Diana
Following in the footsteps of Princess Diana, Prince Harry has taken a big stride in his late mother's crusade to highlight the carnage caused by landmines -- after making a two-day visit to minefields in Africa.world Updated: Jun 22, 2010 12:57 IST
Like mother, like son.
Following in the footsteps of Princess Diana, Prince Harry has taken a big stride in his late mother's crusade to highlight the carnage caused by landmines -- after making a two-day visit to minefields in Africa.
In scenes reminiscent of Diana's controversial trip to an Angolan minefield in 1997, the 25-year-old Prince met amputees and others still falling victim to devices laid 30 years ago in Mozambique, the 'Daily Express' reported.
Harry was in Tete province to support the work of The HALO Trust recently. The charity's role of clearing mines in former war zones was brought to the world's attention by Diana in 1997, the year she died in a car crash in Paris.
At the time, she angered Conservative ministers who labelled her a "loose cannon" for calling for an international ban on landmines. Britain subsequently agreed to a treaty that outlawed the devices a few months after her death.
Details of Harry's visit were kept secret until yesterday. The HALO Trust has released pictures in a publicity campaign to raise money and try to double 1.9 million pounds a year it spends in an effort to clear all mines by 2014.
The third-in-line to British throne watched experts using metal detectors and hand tools to clear anti- personnel mines and detonated devices himself after basic training.
In an area around the Cahora Bassa dam, hundreds of families live in 10 villages within feet of unfenced mine belts containing 30,000 explosive devices. There the Prince met children and adults maimed for life, including Delisso,14, who lost a leg 18 months ago while herding cattle.
St James's Palace said: "Prince Harry was extremely impressed by the work by The HALO Trust team. He has heard many times over the years through his mother and during his military career of the devastation landmines cause."
First Published: Jun 22, 2010 12:49 IST