Through his personal bravery and commitment to the worthy cause of ridding the world of the scourge of mines he has helped save the lives of thousands of men women and children. His book is a great read. It tells the story of a man on a mission to do something good in the world. – Lieutenant General (Retired) Peter Leahy AC. – Chief of the Australian Army (2002 – 2008)
This impressive book from a man who was for decades engaged in the fight against the disastrous weapon of landmines….outlines the credibility of Ian Mansfield in saving lives and reducing the suffering of landmine victims, appreciated by mine affected countries and by donors. – Dr Cornelio Sommaruga. – President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (1987 – 1999)
An excellent insight into Ian Mansfield and his family’s experiences living in war-torn countries, and the technical side of his work managing large scale mine clearance programmes. Ian Mansfield is an outstanding Australian who has made a substantial contribution in the international humanitarian arena. – Prince Mired bin Raad of Jordan. – Special Envoy for the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention
Ian Mansfield was serving in the Australian Army when he was selected to command a team of Australian combat engineers to go to Pakistan to train Afghan refugees in mine-clearance procedures. With millions of refugees expected to return to Afghanistan, the United Nations saw a humanitarian crisis looming and requested help from Western countries to tackle the landmine problem. In September 1991, Ian, along with his wife and two young children, left Australia on a one-year assignment … and didn’t return home for 20 years.
This highly personal account recalls Ian’s pioneering efforts to set up a civilian program in Afghanistan to clear landmines for humanitarian purposes, and then his decision to leave the Australian Army and join the United Nations. He continued to work in the mine-action sector, setting up programs in Laos and Bosnia, and then working at the policy level at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Stepping into a Minefield highlights the dangers and the tragedies involved in landmine clearance, but also reveals the great humanity, dedication and humour of the thousands of brave men and women clearing landmines today. It also outlines the political, cultural and security ‘minefields’ that Ian had to navigate along the way, which were often more difficult to deal with than the real minefields.