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Abyei

Photo: UNMAS/UNISFA

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ABOUT

Since 2011, the status of the Abyei Area has remained a contentious issue between Sudan and South Sudan. Fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Armyand the Sudan Armed Forces in the Abyei Areaescalated and resulted in the total destruction of Abyei town and surrounding villages. Clashes led to the displacement of more than 100,000 people and additional contamination from landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Tensions in the region continue to date.

UNMAS role in UNISFA originates from UN SecurityCouncil Resolution 1990, which established the mission and recognized the need for demining assistance. Amine incident in August 2011, which killed four UNISFA peacekeepers and injured seven others, further affirmed the criticality of mine action as an essential mission enabler in the area of operations.

Furthermore, UNMAS supports UNISFA in weapons and ammunition management (WAM), to mitigate the threat to peace and security in Abyei arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.

UNMAS mandate in UNISFA is clearly stated in the various Security Council resolutions on UNISFA, including the most recent, UN S/RES 2352 (2017).The resolution continues to demand “…deployment of UNMAS to ensure JBVMM freedom of movement, as well as the identification and clearance of mines in the Abyei Area and the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ).”

 

ACTIVITIES

UNMAS non-technical surveys, explosive ordnance disposal, area clearance and route assessment activities enable peacekeeping operations, the delivery of humanitarian aid, the return of community members to previously abandoned communities and a peaceful migration by nomadic herds men.

UNMAS delivers mine risk education to UNISFA personnel, enhancing their knowledge on what to do should they encounter items of ERW while conducting operations. Similar messages are delivered to communities within the Abyei Area.

UNMAS maintains the operational readiness of JBVMM Patrol Support Teams to allow Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism ground patrols to move freely and protected against any explosive hazards that may be encountered in the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone.

UN Security Council Resolution 2205 (2015) affirmed UNISFA mandate to confiscate and destroy weapons. UNMAS manages disposal of weapons and ammunition confiscated by UNISFA troops, working closely with stakeholders such as UNPOL, ETHBATT and national monitors from Sudan and South Sudan. UNMAS also trains UNISFA troops in the use of the equipment, to meet internationalstandards in weapons and ammunition destruction.

FUNDING

Funding of US$15.7 million to cover activities from 01 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 has been received through UNISFA assessed budget. UNMAS – UNISFA is fully funded to 30 June 2018.

Updated October 2017

Programme of:

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IMPACT

  • 1.104 kilometres of roads and over 2 million square meters of land within the Abyei Area assessed as safe from explosive hazards, enabling peacekeeping operations and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
  • 4,125 items of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 25,022 rounds of small arms ammunition removed and destroyed, enabling safe return of people to previously abandoned communities and a peaceful migration by nomadic herdsmen.

  • 162 confiscated weapons and over 8,900 rounds of small arms ammunition destroyed at the UNISFA Weapons and Ammunition Management Facility, contributing to peace and security in the Abyei Area.

  • 4,045 UNISFA troops, military observers, staff officers, UNPOL, South Sudanese & Sudanese national monitors received Landmine & ERW Awareness Induction and JBVMM Integrated Ground PatrolTraining.

  • 135,223 men, women, boys, and girls living in the Abyei Area, including nomadic herdsmen, reached by Mine Risk Education, enhancing awareness on the dangers posed by ERW.

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