UNMAS update on Iraq 8 Oct 2003

Situation Report
Originally published
Southern Iraq
Mine Tech International (MTI)

MTI continues to operate from their base camp in Al Amara. Survey teams are continuing explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) in that city as well as Musharrah. Teams are also clearing explosive ordnance from a primary school in Ar Rashid, where dangerous items were lying around buildings or buried near them. Part of the school's roof collapsed when ammunition stored inside the building exploded, possibly set off by children handling the devices. All loose and accessible explosive ordnance was removed from the outside of the school; most of it was burned, damaged and in a dangerous state. Ammunition was also recovered from one of four pits at the back of the school. MTI removed 661 items of explosive ordnance. MTI reports that the security situation in the Al Amara area is good.


InterSoS is operating at normal staffing levels on an EOD task south of Al Nashawah.

Danish Church Aid (DCA)

DCA returned to Basrah on 28 September and is preparing to resume operations. DCA officials say they believe the security situation is better than it was several weeks ago but warn that kidnapping remains a major threat for nationals.

Danish Demining Group (DDG)

DDG has also returned to Basrah and is preparing to resume work there after it recruits and trains 20 national staff in basic EOD.

Swedish Rescue Service Agency (SRSA)

SRSA has relocated all personnel to Sweden, where they are on standby for a rapid return to Iraq.

Northern Iraq


The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) reports that security throughout the three northern governorates of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dahuk was stable as of the end of September. Still UNOPS is taking steps to reinforce security under the direction of the UN Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. All mine-action programme staff are safe, and non-critical staff have extended their annual leave until further notice. At this stage there are no international staff working through UNOPS in the country. A limited number of national staff remain on duty. Mine-action national staff in the north are inventorying equipment, which will be handed over to the Coalition Provisional Authority in November. The Dahuk Tiroj Demining Organization has moved its offices into the UNOPS mine-action programme compound.

In Sulaymaniyah, teams completed clearing 18 minefields. Mine-victim assistance was provided through surgical and rehabilitation centers, which treated 13 new war injuries and three injuries from unexploded ordnance. In Erbil, teams completed clearing nine minefields, which were handed over to landowners. Five new war injuries, including four UXO injuries were reported by one emergency surgical center. And in Dahuk, 11 minefields were cleared and returned to landowners.



Team Leader Salomon Schreuder, Programme Officer Rodney Cocks, Victim-Assistance Technical Advisor Judith Dunne and Emergency Survey Coordinator John Brown are all in Amman. Chief Technical Advisor Michel Dufort is on leave in Canada until 12 October


Team Leader Diek Engelbrecht, Military Liaison Officer Stephen Pantling , and Operations Coordinator Paul Eldred are in Kuwait. Quality Assurance Coordinator Ernst Woest, and Information Officer Karl Hienz Sterili are in Amman. Logistics Coordinator Sheila Black is in New York.