【當年今日】戴安娜王妃走過安哥拉地雷區

戴安娜王妃印象最深刻的照片,無疑是1997年1月15日,戴安娜戴著簡單護具,徒步穿過安哥拉中部城市萬博(Huambo)的地雷區,藉此引起世界各地對於地雷武器的關注。

戴安娜向來熱衷於慈善事業,她參與紅十字會活動多年,關注愛滋病人、無家者等,當年正是跟隨紅十字會的安排來到非洲。安哥拉是其中一個最多地雷的國家,當地自1975年獨立後陷入持續27年的內戰,期間埋下數不清的地雷。1994年開始,掃雷組織HALO Trust一直致力清除安哥拉的地雷,據悉多年來已在當地清除約十萬枚地雷。

當戴安娜1997年前往安哥拉時,當地仍在進行內戰,得悉HALO Trust的掃雷工作後,她會見地雷倖存者的單腳孩子,跟隨專家及工作人員穿過清除地雷後的道路,並向全球各國呼籲禁止使用地雷。作為當時全球最多人認識的公眾人物之一,戴安娜王妃身處地雷區的照片,隨即刊登在全球媒體頭版,令更多人關注事件。其實,安哥拉並非她唯一到訪的受地雷影響的國家,在她離世前的八月,還在波斯尼亞探訪地雷受害者,再次將世界的注意力集中在地雷問題。

遺憾的是,她在八月底因意外逝世,未能見證幾個月後在加拿大簽署的渥太華條約(Ottawa Treaty),這條約禁止使用、儲存、生產、轉讓具殺傷力的地雷,以及銷毀、完全禁止一切殺傷地雷,至今已有164個國家加入協議。國際反地雷組織(ICBL)在1997年獲得諾貝爾獎和平獎,背後也不無戴安娜的功勞。

對安哥拉人而言,王妃的到訪是他們至今茶餘飯後的話題,即使多年之後,他們對戴安娜的友善及體貼,依然讚不絕口。近年,哈利王子也跟隨母親的步伐來到安哥拉,模仿戴安娜當年的事蹟,徒步穿過另一個地雷區。25年過後,據ICBL稱,至今全球約有60個國家和地區受到地雷污染,還有32個國家未遵守禁雷條約,包括中國、古巴、伊朗、以色列、俄羅斯、美國及南北韓等。

On Jan 15, 1997, Princess Diana walked across a minefield in Huambo in central Angola. The photographs soon raise international attention on the landmine issue. Angola was still at a civil war when she arrived in 1997, the Princess came across the HALO Trust,  which had been working to clear mines in Angola since 1994. It is reported that about 100,000 landmines have been removed from the area over the years.

She met landmine survivors, followed the experts and staff walk through the mine-cleared road, and vocally appealed for an international ban on landmines. As one of the most recognized people in the world, the images of Princess Diana wearing protective clothing and equipment in a minefield were immediately published on the front pages of the global media, raising the profile of the work being done to clear landmines worldwide.

It grieves me to say, Diana passed away due to a car accident and was unable to witness the Ottawa Treaty signed in Canada a few months later, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, transfer of landmines, and 164 countries have so far joined the agreement. The International Anti-Landmine Organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and it is not without Diana’s credit for it.

Images Credit to Getty Images

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