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11 Jun 2004
IOC News

Message of hope to mine victims

Courage and determination are the themes of the Cairo stage of the Olympic Torch Relay on 11 June. An Afghan mine victim will be carrying the Olympic torch; he will be running on behalf of many thousands of mine victims in dozens of countries around the world who have overcome terrible injury and rebuilt their lives.

Two mine victims
Najmuddin is director of the orthopaedic centre in Kabul, Afghanistan, run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He will be accompanied in the Torch Relay by fellow physiotherapist, Shukrullah. Both have lost their legs during mine incidents and have received prostheses. Trained as physical therapists, they are both working at the ICRC’s orthopedic centre in the Afghan capital.

"Relay for life"
Taking part in the Torch Relay is a "relay for life", a statement by two of the thousands of mine victims around the world that life can go on and that courage can overcome adversity. It also focuses attention on the vitally important orthopaedic work of the ICRC in many mine-affected countries worldwide in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the ICRC's orthopaedic unit. The number of patients treated each year has steadily grown, reaching over 30,000 people in 2003

"Summit of mine-free world in Nairobi"
At the end of 2004 there will also be an important review conference in Nairobi on the progress made under the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines. Already being called the "Nairobi summit for a mine-free world", it will be an important opportunity to reinforce the global effort to end the production, sale and use of land mines and advance programmes of mine clearance.

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