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Western Sahara (MINURSO)

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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, international personnel who provide logistical support east of the berm, and vulnerable nomadic and local populations and their livestock on which they are dependent.

Since February 2008, UNMAS has had an established mine action programme (Mine Action Coordination Center – MACC) within the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The MACC supports the implementation of the Mission mandate in monitoring the ceasefire. By reducing the threat of mines and other explosives devices, the MACC has enabled 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 UNMAS programme in the Territory of Western Sahara is primarily funded by the UN peacekeeping Assessed Budget (USD 3.265 million). The Governments of Germany (EUR 3.85 million) through October 2018 and Spain (EUR 45,000) through February 2018 are contributing to the UNMAS programme in the Territory of Western Sahara through contributions to the Voluntary Trust Fund. In January 2018, UNMAS received an additional contribution from the Government of Spain (EUR 45,000) to resume its Victim Assistance project. Additional funding is sought in the areas of clearance, survivor support and capacity development of local resources to independently manage mine action related activities in the future.

Updated: March 2018

Programme of:



From the inception of the UNMAS programme in 2008 in the Territory of Western Sahara east of the berm to date:

  • 137,581,759 square meters of hazardous areas released (minefields and cluster strike areas)
  • 8,570 km of routes verified or cleared for UN military observers’ patrols, of which 472 km have been verified since 1 July 2015.
  • 7,763 landmines removed and destroyed
  • 8,099 unexploded ordnances destroyed
  • 22,849 sub-munitions destroyed
  • 3,039 MINURSO personnel received Landmine Safety Training
  • 64,712 local and nomadic people received mine risk education
  • 104 individuals (11 survivors of mine accidents and 93 of their dependents) received assistance