Destroyed 1,087,129 items of explosive devices and more than 5.8 million bullets, including 39,875 mines, 75,959 cluster munitions, and 971,295 other items of unexploded ordnance (UXO), to make safe: 1,869 water points, 3,279 schools, and 292 health clinics.
Cleared 4,384 km of road, enabling UN and humanitarian partners to deliver life-saving aid, as well as supporting functioning markets and sustainable development.
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) ensured that 5,574,899 people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and host communities, can recognize and report explosive hazards.
Since its inception in 2004, UNMAS has cleared 48.08 km2 of minefields and 75.77 km2 of cluster strikes and battlefields as well as surveying and confirming safe more than 1,167.91 km2 of suspected areas.
The total contamination area is now estimated to be around 18.47 km2 (approximately 2,639 football pitches) with 340 remaining tasks comprised of 182 minefields, 129 cluster munition strikes, and 29 confrontation areas. UNMAS believes that all these tasks can be cleared within five years – given safe access and appropriate funding. 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 920,000 refugees in Uganda and the 56,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Safe land is needed for resettlement and agriculture, and a prerequisite for safe return. Moreover, 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.
As of 31 August 2021, UNMAS coordinates 23 mine action teams. Each year the teams clear approximately 2.7 km2 of mine fields and 4.2 km2 of cluster strikes and battlefields and deliver safety messaging to more than 300,000 people.
UNMAS is an integral component of UNMISS, mandated under Security Council Resolution 2567 (2021), and supports the four core objectives: protection of civilians, creating the conditions conductive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, supporting the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and the peace process, and monitoring and investigating human rights.
Survey and Clearance:
From 29 December 2020 to 11 January 2021, UNMAS conducted survey and clearance operations for a water pipeline that UNICEF was constructing in Juba, Central Equatoria. The area suffered from heavy conflict in the past and UNMAS has destroyed hundreds of items of explosive ordnance in the area. The total length of the pipeline is 26.65 km and serves a population of 110,000 beneficiaries after being filtered from the Nile River. Mr. Martin Wani, the Chief of the village said, “The community feels safer because we saw UNMAS clear the land and now we will also have clean water! Thank you.”
The Bentiu-Kuerguini Road, located close to the UNMISS Bentiu Field Office, is critical for peacekeeping patrols and humanitarian partners to access the surrounding areas. On May 2021, an UNMISS patrol reported a suspected anti-tank mine in the area. UNMAS immediately commenced clearance and safely destroyed two anti-vehicle mines. The 8.95 km road was handed over to the community and authorities, ensuring safe road transportation of UNMISS personnel, livelihood commodities and lifesaving supplies as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Protection of Civilians:
In April 2021, approximately 5,600 South Sudanese, who were previously displaced, voluntarily returned to their places of origin in Baliet, Upper Nile. To facilitate this process and to protect civilians from being harmed by explosive threats, UNMAS supported UNHCR by surveying the proposed sites for three transit camps and their access routes in Adong, Baliet, and Rhiang Nom. From March to June 2021, UNMAS found and destroyed 50 anti-personnel mines and six UXOs, clearing 226,050 m2 in total. The cleared land enabled the communities to rebuild livelihoods and expand villages.
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education:
Sudanese civilians who fled their homes due to armed conflict temporarily settled in refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile. In anticipation of their return, the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) asked for UNMAS to provide EORE. From March to August 2021, UNMAS delivered EORE to 8,575 refugees in camps, teaching them how to recognize, avoid, and report explosive hazards, so that they are prepared if they encounter such items during their return journey and eventual resettlement. EORE has been specifically tailored to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 by using a door-to-door modality, incorporating preventative messaging in conjunction the with risks that explosive ordnance poses for civilians.
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.
Data as of August 2021