Sudan

Landmine monitor report released in Sudan

Author(s): Jackie Hansen <jackie@icbl.org>

Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World was released at a press conference and roundtable discussion in Khartoum, Sudan on 3 October 2006. Mr. Abdelatie Abdelkheir Eid, Coordinator of the Sudan Campaign to Ban Landmines (SCBL), opened the event, held at Friendship Hall.

Mr. Eid presented the findings of the Sudan country report to over 125 participants, which included members of the media, representatives of the Government of Sudan, the UN, NGOs and landmine survivors.

Landmine Monitor Project Manager Ms. Jackie Hansen presented the global findings of this eighth annual report of the ICBL.

Mr. Tariq Qadeem, UNDP's Chief Technical Advisor in Sudan, emphasized the important role of the ICBL and the SCBL in promoting the mine ban, and spoke of the need to build local mine action capacity and for Sudanese to take national ownership of the mine action program.

Mr. Awad Elbasheer, Director of the NationalMineActionCenter, emphasized the importance of mine risk education and survivor assistance, and stated that "victim assistance means providing support for survivors until they are fully re-integrated into society." He echoed Mr. Qadeem and stressed the importance of building Sudan's national mine action capacity.

State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Secretary-General of the National Mine Action Authority Mr. Ahmed Haroon stressed the importance of Sudan's national mine action strategy. Mr. Haroon said, "to all the mine survivors, this work and this meeting is for you and for other survivors that we do not yet know of, for providing information to others so they do not go into dangerous mined areas and become victims."

Ms. Mereso Agina of the Kenya Coalition Against Landmines addressed the importance of mine action in the peace process in Sudan and challenged Sudan to do its utmost now to work toward becoming landmine-free.

Participants posed questions to panellists about mine action in Sudan. The press conference and roundtable discussion was followed by the presentation of food aid packages to displaced mine survivors living in Khartoum. The food aid is a special project of local NGO ABRAR carried out during Ramadan. Five hundred mine survivors and their families received aid packages.