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Since 2013, UNMAS Mali has contributed to the:


  • Protection of civilians from explosive hazards.


  • Improved access to livelihoods, freedom of movement and economic recovery for the population.


  • Support and enabling of humanitarian access in a conflict environment.


  • Development of a national Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) response capacity, notably through the establishment of an EOD Operations Coordination Centre (CCO).


  • 4,391,584 square meters of land released to communities, 16,685 items of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 112,127 items of small arms ammunition destroyed. Training of 1,525 MDSF personnel in context-specific explosive ordnance and improvised explosive device disposal (EOD/IEDD) threat mitigation training


  • 452,338 people reached with UNMAS-funded risk education since 2015; awareness messages broadcast in five national languages through local radio stations; 1,116 humanitarian workers briefed through explosive hazards awareness sessions; and 416 drivers operating in affected areas (including humanitarian organizations) briefed on the risk of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).


  • 571 tons of obsolete, unsafe and unserviceable ammunition, including 85 obsolete surface-to-air missiles (2014), and nearly 11,500 firearms safely destroyed in support of the Malian authorities. This represents the world’s largest ammunition stockpile disposed of by a national authority with UNMAS assistance.


  • 68 armouries and ammunition storage areas were built and rehabilitated, and 612 MDSF personnel successfully completed the training in safe and secure weapons and ammunition management (WAM).




Since the outbreak of conflict in 2012, Mali suffers from an explosive threat[1], particularly emanating from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). This threat has had a wide-ranging detrimental impact on the safety and freedom of movement of state authorities, international actors, as well as civilians, in the northern and central parts of the country.


In addition to posing a serious threat to civilians, the contamination limits access to local livelihoods and basic services, hampers the delivery of humanitarian assistance and inhibits freedom of movement of the population. Internally displaced persons and returnees are particularly at risk. More generally, explosive hazards contamination hinders economic recovery and development.


Since 2017, Mali has experienced a significant increase in IEDs/mines recorded particularly in the centre of the country, which has resulted in high numbers of casualties among civilians and impeding stabilization efforts. In 2021 a gradual expansion of the explosive threat towards the West of the country was first noted, which has continued into 2022. Since July 2013 until the end of September 2022, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has recorded 1,488 IEDs/mines utilized by non-state armed groups, leaving 902 people dead and injuring 2,400 more. In 2022, civilians[2] represented almost 40% of all IED/mine casualties across Mali (in 2021: 28%), and Mopti remained the region with most IEDs/mines recorded (36%) and the largest share of casualties (65% of the total).


Between 2012 and 2021, the number of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) victims gradually reduced from 56 to 17 per year (24 ERW victims recorded in 2020, 18 in 2021). 325 civilian victims of ERW have been identified since 2012, of whom 68% were children.


In Mali, UNMAS, as part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), is mandated by UN Security Council resolution 2640 (2022), which prioritizes: 1. Protection of civilians and stabilization efforts in the centre; 2. Enhancement of national capacities in explosive ordnance threat mitigation 3. Training of the MINUSMA troops in countering the explosive threat.

[1] Explosive hazards refer to mines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and Improvised explosive Devices (IEDs)


[2] Civilian numbers do not include UN civilians.




UNMAS vision for Mali: The population in Mali is safer and more secure as a result of the reduced threat posed by explosive ordnance.

Protection of civilians through mine action

As the co-lead of the Humanitarian Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MAoR)/Working Group (Groupe de travail de lutte antimines humanitaire (GTLAMH), in French) UNMAS coordinates and implements humanitarian mine action activities such as the provision of explosive ordnance risk education (EORE), victim assistance activities within communities and training and continued mentoring in conducting humanitarian mine action activities to Malian civil society organizations. UNMAS also ensures that international mine action partners comply with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) through quality control and quality assurance from its various field offices in Gao, Kidal, Mopti, Tessalit and Timbuktu.

Support to national authorities in explosive hazard management

UNMAS supports national authorities in developing technical and operational capacity to safely manage explosive threats, coordinate the response and comply with international standards through the provision of training, specialized equipment and technical support as well as mentoring of MDSF personnel. UNMAS also provides advisory support to the Malian authorities in addition to advising the Permanent Secretariat to Counter the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons on Mali’s international obligations regarding explosive ordnances and weapons and ammunition.

Making operations safer for MINUSMA civilian and uniformed personnel

UNMAS provides critical explosive threat mitigation support to MINUSMA peacekeepers, through technical advice and delivery of in-mission and pre-deployment training to the troops, and on building sustainability through training-of-trainers and mentoring to enable peacekeepers to operate safely in an asymmetric environment and enable Mission mandate delivery and facilitate freedom of movement – in line with the Secretary General’s Action for Peace (A4P+) initiative as well as the Action Plan on Improving the Security of Peacekeepers. Threat-specific specialized training is also provided to MINUSMA EOD companies.




UNMAS Mali is primarily funded through the MINUSMA Assessed Budget, as well as the United States of America and Switzerland through in-kind support.


Data as of October 2022