France’s untimely chemical weapons problem
PARIS - France 24Though World War I centennial commemorations have recently kicked off, the bloody four-year conflict that left nearly 1.7 million dead in France continues to cause controversy here.
Each year, according to figures provided by the interior ministry, between ten and 20 tonnes of chemical-weapon ammunition are found on the battlefields across northern and eastern France.
“Shells that were buried in the ground tend to come to the surface pretty regularly,” explained Olivier Lepick, a historian specialising in World War I at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. “You find them under farmers’ tractors, or sometimes people out for walks see them.”