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UNMAS celebrates the International Mine Awareness Day in Darfur. Photo: UNMAS/UNAMID

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Darfur, a region of Western Sudan, has been mired in conflict since 2003, when two Darfur-based armed rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took up arms against the Sudanese government. Up to 300,000 people are thought to have died and at least 2.6 million displaced from their homes in Darfur since the fighting broke out, majority of whom still live in the displaced persons camps.

UNMAS began its operations in Darfur in 2005, initially under the name of Western Regional Mine Action Office. On 1 January 2008, UNMAS became an integral component of the United Nations-African Union hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), called ODO. ODO has its main office in El Fasher and five sector offices: Darfur Sector North, South, and West, Zallingei and El Daein.

Following a uniatral declaration of cessation of hostilities by GoS on one hand and the main non-signatory armed movements (JEM Jibril, SLA Minni Minawi and Sudan Liberation Army –North) in 2016, there has been considerable reduction in the level or armed confrontation between the between the Government Forces and armed movements in Darfur thus allowing ODO access to some areas that were hitherto in accessible. While fighting between government forces and the rebel groups have significantly reduced, inter-communal violence does continue to take place with new ERW contaminations reported and possibilities of areas previously cleared becoming recontaminated.

In line with Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007) with further amendamnets, ODO is mandated to support Mission tasks such as: protection of civilians, facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the safety and security of UNAMID and humanitarian personnel. This support is provided through four broad activities:


In response to the ERW contaminations, ODO deploys Rapid Response and National Multi-Task teams with special focus to areas where armed hostilities have occurred and communities hosting internally displaced persons. Such activities have provided a safer environment and improved freedom of movement among the local population.

Through risk education activities, communities are informed on the threats of ERW in their areas and on how to stay safe. The ERW risk education aims at achieving behavioural change among the communities at risk.

Weapon and ammunition safety management initiatives with national security actors help reduce potential theft of small arms and ammunition and mitigate the risk of unplanned explosions. Technical support to UNAMID Force and Formed Police Units supports compliance with International Ammunition Technical Guidelines.

ODO had been providing assistance to survivors of ERW accidents in their income-generation efforts, through construction of vocational centers and training them to acquire useful vocational skills in carpentry, wielding, sewing etc. However, for the current financial year, funding for victim assistance activities is not available through the Peacekeeping Budget.


ODO activities are fully funded from the UNAMID Assessed Budget. For 2016/2017 fiscal year, ODO budget amounts to USD 8,246,500, covering activities such as: ERW clearance, risk education and national capacity enhancement.

Updated: October 2017

Programme of:



  • In support of the protection of civilians’ mandate, since its inception, ODO has conducted general explosive hazard assessments and explosive ordnance disposal tasks in 2,448 villages across Darfur. The tasks resulted in the closing of 1,066 reported dangerous areas (DAS), safe disposal of 35,435 explosive remnants of war (ERW) and the destruction of 2,267,624 small arms ammunition (SAA).                                                
  • 1,145,749 beneficiaries (including 243,293 men, 251,211 women, 357,210 boys and 294,035 girls) received ERW risk education. In addition, UNAMID 3,469 personnel (including police advisors, military observers, civilians and formed police unit personnel) received ERW safety awareness training. The training was conducted in collaboration with the UNAMID Integrated Mission Training Centre.



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