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South Sudan

IMPACT

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.   

 

ABOUT

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.

 

ACTIVITIES

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.

 

Route Verification

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.  

 

Risk Education

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.  

 

FUNDING 

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