Mine action, a key role in ensuring the safety of population in support of peacebuilding
The annual meeting of the Mine Action Support Group (MASG) took place on 14 March 2023 in Khartoum. Chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), the Ambassador of Italy, as the Global MASG Chair for 2023 and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, the meeting provided an opportunity for key stakeholders, including donors, to discuss the status, risks, challenges, and opportunities in relation to Sudan’s mine action efforts.
Mine action is part of the UNITAMS mandate in support to Sudanese-led peacebuilding. In 2022, more than one million square meters of hazardous areas were deemed safe and returned to communities for productive use through survey and clearance operations. Other achievements include:
- Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) was delivered to 256,834 people at risk from explosive ordnance (69,399 girls, 71,847 boys, 56,740 women and 58,848 men) through face-to-face sessions, community volunteer trainings and public events, as well as reaching a wider audience through radio programmes, raising awareness and promoting safe behaviour. This figure also includes humanitarian and development actors operating in dangerous areas.
- The clearance teams found and destroyed 32 anti-personnel mines, 14 anti-tank mines, 24,976 small arms ammunitions, and 2,347 unexploded ordnance. The teams also newly found and registered 255 hazardous areas with either confirmed or potential explosive ordnance.
- 95 survivors of explosive ordnance (EO) accidents, their families, and persons with disabilities (whether or not affected by EO) received comprehensive assistance, including medical screening, mobility aid and other assistive devices such as prostheses/orthoses, rehabilitation, mental health and psychosocial support, and socioeconomic integration package. Advocacy and community sensitization efforts were made for greater inclusion and realization of the rights of disability communities.
- In order to strengthen the national capacity of mine action, UNMAS provided technical advice, coordination and funding support to the National Mine Action Center (NMAC).
- Complying with the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), with the support of UNMAS, the Government of Sudan submitted a request to extend the deadline for the clearance obligation under Article 5. As the extension was granted at the 20th Meeting of States Parties, Sudan now has until April 2027 to complete clearance of all known mine contamination in the country.