Mine ban education in South Sudan

Report
from International Campaign to Ban Landmines
Published on 25 Aug 2005
In collaboration with Geneva Call and the Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), a signatory of the "Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action" (Deed of Commitment), started a series of regional mine ban education workshops in south Sudan. The series is the follow up of a strategic conference on the implementation of the Deed of Commitment organised by Geneva Call and the SPLM/A in New Site in 2003.

In collaboration with Geneva Call and the Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) start the first of a series of mine ban education workshops in South Sudan

The firstworkshop took place in Rumbek, Lake region, from 27 to 29 July 2005. It was opened by Governor Pagan Amum and brought together about 50 selected SPLM/A military commanders, civil authority and community leaders, representatives of UN agencies, mine action NGOs, Landmine Monitor and, for the first time, of the northern-based Sudan Campaign to Ban Landmines.

The workshop provided information on the mine ban and current mine action efforts to address the landmine scourge in Sudan. Relevant material, including a training manual on the Deed of Commitment provisions, was distributed. At the end of the workshop participants committed to cooperating in mine action and to disseminate the mine ban messages within their own constituencies.

A second workshop was expected to take place immediately after in Yei, Equatoria region, but was cancelled due to the tragic death of Dr John Garang, SPLM/A Chairman and newly appointed First Vice-President of the National Government.

Dr Garang had been personally involved in the fight against landmines. It was under his leadership that the SPLM/A decided to renounce the use of anti-personnel mines and to sign the Deed of Commitment, thereby boosting mine action efforts in Sudan. Geneva Call and KCAL hope that the SPLM/A will continue its struggle for a peaceful and mine-free Sudan. They feel that this is how Dr Garang's legacy can be best remembered and honoured.