Destroyed 1,082,997 explosive devices and more than 4.2 million bullets, including 39,438 mines, 71,954 cluster munitions, and 971,605 unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Inspected/Cleared for usage: 1,459 water points ensuring communities safe access to water; 281 schools so children could resume education; and 249 clinics to restore vital medical services.
Surveyed 31,883 km of roads of which 4,190 km were cleared, enabling UN and humanitarian partners to deliver life-saving aid, as well as supporting functioning markets and sustainable development.
Risk Education (RE) ensured that 4,844,085 people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and host communities, can recognize and report explosive hazards.
Since its inception in 2004, UNMAS has cleared 42.2km2 of minefields and 71.8km2 of cluster strikes and battlefields as well as surveyed and confirmed safe more than 1,159km2 of suspected areas.
The total contamination area is now estimated to be 24 km2 (approximately 3,361 football pitches) with 345 remaining tasks comprised of 185 minefields, 128 cluster munition strikes, and 32 confrontation areas. UNMAS believes that all these tasks can be cleared within five years – given safe access and appropriate funding. However, the requirement for a spot UXO clearance capacity will remain for decades. UNMAS is preparing for a transfer of full responsibility for the long-‐term management of mine action to the National Mine Action Authority.
The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-‐ARCSS) is holding, however, the majority of the remaining contamination is centred in the southern part of the Greater Equatoria region, which is currently the area of greatest insecurity. Much of the contamination straddles the primary return routes for the 830,000 refugees in Uganda and the 102,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Safe land is needed for resettlement and agriculture, and a prerequisite for safe return.
As of 30 September 2019, UNMAS coordinates 21 mine action teams with additional RE teams. Each year the teams clear approximately 6km2 of contaminated ground and deliver safety messaging to more than 300,000 people.
UNMAS is an integral component of UNMISS, mandated under Security Council Resolution 2459 (2019), and supports the four core objectives:
- Protection of civilians;
- Creating the conditions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance;
- Monitoring and investigating human rights, which includes reporting on the use of landmines and cluster munitions;
- Supporting the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and the peace process.
Survey and Clearance:
In Mundri, Western Equatoria, Oxfam reported that the population was afraid to use their boreholes because of explosive hazards and was consuming unsafe water. UNMAS surveyed and cleared the area enabling Oxfam to repair vital water points: “We appreciate UNMAS support, it is the only way we can do our job of repairing the boreholes for these populations that are currently drinking from swamp water. It also clearly improves the safety of Oxfam staff in the area and the local population,” Nick Lacey, former Programme Manager, Oxfam.
In 2019, UNMAS supported the World Food Programme (WFP) feeder road project through survey and clearance of 982 km of routes to afford safe passage and the delivery of humanitarian assistance in northern Jonglei, enabling WFP to pre-‐position over 19,500 metric tonnes of food in the area. “WFP is grateful for UNMAS support in ensuring the safe and secure opening of the Bor road. It allowed WFP to reach great cost efficiencies by using roads, instead of costly air operations, and also facilitate an increase on prepositioning ahead of the rainy season,” Simon Cammelbeeck, former a.i. Country Director for WFP South Sudan.
Protection of Civilians
In May 2019, UN agencies jointly supported the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of 1,200 IDP families (3,302 individuals) in Baliet County, Upper Nile. UNMAS, as requested by UNHCR, conducted visual assessment and survey of the potential sites and the proximate areas prior to the establishment of the transit sites to ensure the safety of the IDP returnees and host community. Upon arrival of the IDP returnees, UNMAS further provided risk education prior to their return to their villages of origin.
UNMAS delivers RE to conflict-‐affected populations, particularly targeting vulnerable groups such as IDPs, returnees, and children. In Rubkona, Unity, the chief of an IDP camp, Angelina Nyagwiny, reported a suspicious item recovered from a pit at the camp to UNMAS. UNMAS investigated and found explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the subsurface; UNMAS has since initiated an operation to survey and clear the area. RE sessions were conducted for residents of the IDP camp as well as for the adjacent host communities, including nearby schools. The chief was grateful for UNMAS for protecting people and enabling children to play safely in the area.
UNMAS South Sudan mainly receives funding from assessed contributions to the UN Peacekeeping operation through the Department of Peace Operations, in addition to funding from the Government of Japan through the Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF) for Mine Action.
Updated September 2019