UN Mine Action Office Sudan: Newsletter Jan/Feb 2007
- UNICEF MRE Update
- Special Campaign for Mine Awareness
- Mine Incidents
- To Date Key Achievements
- Funding Update
UNMAO assists in providing a safe return home
In the past month, numerous convoys with returnees from Khartoum have arrived and will continue to arrive in South Kordofan. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is responsible for transporting returnees to their destinations. Since early February, IOM has assisted the return of more than 2,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) to communities in South Sudan. IOM estimates that there are 614,000 IDPs in Khartoum awaiting return to their homes in southern Sudan.
Many of the areas where IDPs are returning to are contaminated with explosive remnants of war, but because of the work conducted by UNMAO and its partners returnees can go to safe areas.
Danish Church Aid (DCA) and its implementing partners are conducting Mine Risk Education (MRE) at the IOM way station for the returnees. IDPs are given information on the dangers of explosive war and how to behave and report if a suspicious object is encountered. Informational material on mines and unexploded ordnance is being distributed along with contamination information for their respective destinations.
Kadugli is one of the contaminated localities receiving returnees. Within Kadugli, several minefields threaten the security and livelihoods of people. Contracted by UNMAO, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) has recently completed clearance of Fama minefield and is close to completing clearance of the Teiss minefield. Returning villagers are now able to make use of the land that for so long has been inaccessible.
Another village in Kadugli where UN-MAO is currently conducting clearance is Shat al Sofya, where 3 separate minefields can be found. The villagers have become used to living with the dangerous areas among them, but returnees are unaware of the perimeters of the minefields. The return of IDPs has increased the risk of future land-mine accidents in the area. The minefields not only pose a threat to the safety of the villagers, but are also impacting their livelihoods. Precious cattle have been lost to mine accidents and one of the water wells is inaccessible as it is located in the perimeter of one of the minefields.
FSD has marked the minefields in Shat al Sofya and clearance is underway.
Returning villagers will soon be able to make use of the land that for so long has been inaccessible. Mine and ERW clearance by UNMAO and its partners will allow the people that have suffered from war to return to homes that are free from mines and unexploded ordnance.