Since January 2018, UNMAS has had the following impact in the DRC:
- The protection of civilians, with a progressive and marked decrease in the number of victims of explosive remnants of war (ERW). In 2017: 38; 2018:31; 2019: 2 victims.
- Improved access to schools, hospitals and arable land resulting in the resumption of livelihood activities and economic recovery for communities previously affected by risks posed by ERW.
- Strengthened capabilities of national security forces in the management and storage of weapons and ammunition
100,510 civilians living in at-risk areas and 1,461 UN/NGO personnel operating in the DRC, participated in mine/SALW risk education and awareness sessions on the risks posed by explosive devices and learned about safe behaviours.
476 Surveys (non-technical and technical) conducted to assess the scope and nature of the explosive contamination in suspected or confirmed hazardous areas.
59,787 square meters of land released to communities, enabling freedom of movement and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
6,980 weapons secured through the installation of safes at Congolese National Police (PNC) and Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) premises; and 664 PNC and FARDC officers trained in the safe and secure management of small arms, light weapons (SALW) and ammunition.
UNMAS DRC: “Safe environment, secure communities”
Since independence in 1960, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been locked in a spiral of armed conflict resulting in nationwide contamination by explosive hazards and an illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is present in the DRC since 2002 and currently has offices in Kinshasa, Goma, Bunia, Beni, Bukavu, and Kalemie to coordinate and implement its country-wide activities in support of the Government of the DRC, MONUSCO and the UN Country Team.
In compliance with Security Council Resolutions 2098 (2013) and 2409 (2018) and as a member of the UN Country Team in DRC, UNMAS conducts explosive hazard management activities to protect civilians and contribute to the safety and security of UN personnel, as well as weapons and ammunition management activities, to reinforce the current capacity of national security state actors to safely store and manage their weapons and stockpiles, in line with minimum international standards.
UNMAS vision for the DRC: DRC is a country free from the threat of mines, explosive hazards, and uncontrolled small arms and light weapons proliferation, where communities live in a sustainable, safe and secure environment.
Support to MONUSCO
UNMAS mitigates the threat posed by explosive hazards to civilians, including before, during and after MONUSCO Force operations against armed groups, by conducting emergency assessments and EOD operations. In support of MONUSCO military operations, UNMAS destroys obsolete, abandoned and surrendered weapons and ammunition. Additionally, UNMAS provides ad-hoc technical advice and expertise to the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) component and other Mission sections. Finally, UNMAS encourages safe behaviours through the delivery of awareness sessions to civilian and uniformed UN personnel.
Reduction of SALW proliferation
UNMAS supports the National Commission for SALW control (CNC-ALPC) in the implementation of its National Action Plan 2018-2022. UNMAS provides innovative storage solutions and delivers trainings on weapons and ammunition management to national security forces. In collaboration with the CNC-ALPC, UNMAS provides support towards weapons marking as a measure to reduce the risks of SALW misappropriation and misuse. UNMAS also contributes to enhance the level of knowledge and understanding of the issue posed by SALW proliferation in the DRC through research studies, analysis and documentation.
Humanitarian Mine Action
UNMAS supports the National Mine Action Authority (CCLAM) in coordinating humanitarian mine action activities in the DRC. In addition, UNMAS conducts survey operations in suspected hazardous areas. To promote community safety and to raise awareness on the risks posed by explosive hazards and SALW, UNMAS conducts victims’ assistance activities and delivers risk education (RE) to conflict-affected communities. Channels for conveying RE messages include direct sessions, radio broadcasting in local languages, SMS campaigns, public events and the distribution of leaflets with information on how to avoid explosive incidents, identify and report contamination.
For the 2018/2019 fiscal year, UNMAS received funding from MONUSCO Assessed Budget as well as extra-budgetary funding from the Central Emergency Relief Fund. UNMAS was also supported financially by the Governments of Japan, Korea, Cyprus, Netherlands, Denmark as well as the Korean International Cooperation Agency and the United Nations Association of Sweden. Additionally, the Government of Switzerland and Sweden provided in-kind personnel, including explosive ordnance disposal, information management, security and logistics experts, contributing to achieve UNMAS objectives in the DRC.
Reporting period: 1 January 2018 to 30 April 2019