Since its independence in 1956, Sudan has suffered a number of conflicts that have contaminated the country with landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) used by all parties in the conflict. Today, South Kordofan, West Kordofan and Blue Nile states continue to be affected by landmines and ERW. Five Darfur states are affected by ERWs only. As of 28 February 2019, mine action efforts undertaken in the region were as follows:
- 130 km2 of dangerous areas have been released for productive use
- 38,113 km of roads have been verified or cleared
- 10,306 Anti-Personnel mines, 3,257 Anti-Tank mines, and 98,748 unexploded ordnances have been found and destroyed
- 3.9 million people received mine risk education (MRE)
- 924 mine victims received assistance
UNMAS supports the Sudan National Mine Action Center (NMAC) in building institutional capacity to meet obligations under Article 5 of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (‘Ottawa Treaty’) by April 2023 and other relevant international treaties. UNMAS mobilizes resources and directly manages land release, mine risk education (MRE) and victim assistance (VA) activities in coordination with NMAC. UNMAS also provides technical advice and training for NMAC and national mine action NGOs.
UNMAS first engaged in Sudan in 2002. It handed over its lead role to NMAC in 2013. In 2015, the UNMAS Programme was re-established at the invitation of the Government of Sudan with an advisory and support role.
The UN Security Council Resolution 2429 stipulates the gradual withdrawal of the UN African Union Hybrid Mission (UNAMID) from four states by June 2019 and its complete closure by June 2020. UNMAS has been requested to assume the role of dealing with ERW hazards in East, West, South and North Darfur states as of 1st January 2019 with UNAMID support. Prior to the resolution, ERW contamination in Darfur states had solely been responded to by the UNAMID Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO). Once UNAMID withdraws from Darfur, UNMAS Sudan will be available to engage if needed in the entirety of Sudan including the five Darfur states.
UNMAS supports the Government of Sudan in its efforts to become Ottawa treaty compliant. In this respect, works with NMAC to release land through survey and clearance operations to local communities and grant safe access to the wider humanitarian community to enable the delivery of life-saving aid. As of 30 Sep 2018, 112.6 km2 (80 %) out of the recorded 139.3 km2 of contaminated land was cleared. On 4 April 2018, Kassala state was announced free of known landmine contamination, marking completion of mine clearance work in Eastern states.
Risk Education and Victim Assistance
Explosive accidents often take place due to a lack of knowledge. UNMAS provides risk education to populations living with the threat of explosives, and to humanitarian workers. UNMAS also supports victims of landmines / ERW through provision of socio-economic and psychological assistance. As of 28 February 2019, 2,149 mine/ERW victims were registered in the Information Management System for Mine Action.
National Capacity Building
UNMAS Sudan strengthens national capacity through provision of technical advice and training to NMAC and national NGOs on land release operations, leadership, quality assurance, and project management. The Government of Sudan ratified the Ottawa treaty on 13 October 2003 and became a State Party in April 2004. Sudan met its obligation under Article 4 of the treaty in March 2008, by completing the destruction of all AP stockpiles; however, an extension request was approved at the 17th Member States Parties meeting for the country to complete the Article 5 obligations by April 2023.
In 2019, UNMAS has secured a total of US $5.16 million to perform mine action activities in Sudan. In addition, the Government of Sudan allocated US $ 2 million to the mine action sector.
Updated: March 2019