A software bug corrupted the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database, which is located within the UNMEE MACC's Information Section, this week. This corruption created some difficulties with the inputting of all mine-related data. The Information Section is currently rectifying the problem with the support from the IMSMA specialists' center in Zuerich, Switzerland.
UPDATE - OPERATIONS
The Operations Section is investigating two mine incidents as well as the UXO incident mentioned below. More information about these incidents will be available as of next week once the PIR reports have been completed.
Due to issues of restricted freedom of movement, the Section had to delay its planned cross border Slovak/ UXB demining activities. These issues have been resolved in the meantime and progress is expected during the week of 10-14 February 2003.
The Section's EOD Team drafted a completion report on their EOD training results in Assab during the period 25 January-1 February 2003. The report is currently being reviewed. During the EOD Team's training exercise in Assab, the Team recognized the need to expand and enhance its training programme in certain areas. The Team is currently working on this.
The EOD Team welcomed and inducted a new Swiss in-kind EOD Technician (Mr. Ivan Ulrich). He replaces Mr. Remo Sauser who will depart the mission on 15 February 2003. In addition, the Team is preparing to also welcome and provide orientation to a new Swedish in-kind EOD Team Leader (Mr. Lars Stafon) who arrives on 11 February 2003.
The Mine Action Liaison Officer (MALO) in Addis Abeba (Lt.Col. E.J.M.E. Habets) left the Mission at the end of last week. The Project Officer for Demining for Demarcation (PODD, Lt.Col. Lars Olsson) is temporarily carrying out the responsibilities of the MALO until a replacement has been recruited.
The PODD met with the Deputy Director for EMAO as well as the Chief of MRE EMAO to discuss outstanding issues concerning demining support for demarcation, in particular the role and responsibilities of the EMAO and the options for integrating and using MRE tools for demining in support of demarcation.
On 7 February 2003, the MACC also bid farewell to its Operations Officer (Ms Marlene Unrau), who had been working for the UNMEE MACC for the past 18 months. Her replacement will be recruited as soon as possible.
The Information Section's staff continues to input collected mine-related data into the IMSMA database. The Section's focus is on the entry of completion reports, dangerous areas and on minefields reported by EDF. The population of mine-related data into IMSMA this week was impeded by the discovery of a software bug. The problem is being addressed.
The Section continued to work on the creation of altitude/topographic maps. It completed the geo-referencing of minefields (laid by the Ethiopian military) onto the new Swiss maps created by the University of Berne's Center for Development and Environment. The Section has plotted the first series of hardcopy maps with the new altitude zones. As a next step, the Section plans to integrate the appropriate color scheme and edge-control before it can release the maps for external/public use.
Road and trench line tracking activities, managed by the Operations Sections, continued. All collected info is being inputted into the GIS database on an ongoing basis.
The MACC Regional Office in Adi Keyh provided extremely good and reliable data about minefield locations this week. The data will be entered into IMSMA immediately.
There was an UXO incident in the village of Andalia (Shilalo area) involving two boys. The boys were playing with a RPG rocket, which subsequently exploded. One of the boys was injured and the other one was immediately killed.
UNMEE personnel are reminded to report any UXO or mine related incident to the nearest MACC Sector Office, Force Unit or UNMO Team Site. Capacity exits within these elements to conduct investigations, complete IMSMA report forms and forward these reports to the UNMEE MACC.
MINE RISK EDUCATION
In response to the UXO incident in the village of Andalia, one of the two MRE Teams (which were deployed to the field in November 2002) conducted two emergency MRE sessions in the Shilalo area. The first session was conducted for an audience of twenty families (adults) and a second session was conducted for an audience of twenty children. The team's activities continue to be coordinated and supervised by the MACC Operations Section.