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Western Sahara (MINURSO)

Photo: UNMAS Western Sahara

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Both sides of the 1,465 km berm that divides the Territory of Western Sahara remain heavily contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a result of 16 years of conflict. Explosive hazards continue to endanger the lives of UN military personnel who monitor the ceasefire and international personnel who provide logistical support east of the berm, as well as the vulnerable nomadic and local populations and their livestock on which they are dependent.

Since February 2008, UNMAS has an established a mine action programme (Mine Action Coordination Center – MACC) within the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). MACC has supported the implementation of the Mission mandate in monitoring the ceasefire. By reducing the threat of mines and other explosives devices, the MACC has enabled the safe passage for MINURSO military observers and civilian logistical support. With funding from bilateral donors, the MACC also engages in activities supporting capacity enhancement, humanitarian clearance, mine risk education, landmine safety training and assistance to survivors of mine related accidents.



The MACC programme in Western Sahara is primarily funded by the UN Assessed Budget (USD 3.26 million). The governments of Germany (EUR 3.85 million) and Spain (EUR 45,000) are contributing to the UNMAS programmes in Western Sahara through the Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF). Based on the needs shared by its local partners UNMAS is seeking additional funding in the area of survivor support and capacity enhancement in the field of organizational development, public information and International humanitarian law in relation to victims of landmine/ERW related incidents. 

Updated: October 2017

Programme of:



  • 128,089,918  sqm of hazardous areas released (minefields and cluster strike areas)
  • 8,555 km of roads verified or cleared for use by UN military observers patrols, of which 458 km have been verified since 1 July 2015
  • 7,754 landmines removed and destroyed
  • 7,945 unexploded ordnances destroyed
  • 22,674 sub-munitions destroyed
  • 2,915 MINURSO personnel received Landmine Safety Training
  • 56,100  local and nomadic people received mine risk education
  • 104 individuals (11 survivors of mine accidents and 93 of their dependents) received assistance