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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 contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a result of 16 years of fighting. Explosive hazards continue to endanger the lives of nomadic and local populations, along with the UN military personnel who monitor the ceasefire.

In February 2008, UNMAS established a mine action programme within the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

To date, UNMAS has supported the implementation of the Mission mandate, enabled the safe passage for the MINURSO military observers and civilian logistical support, by reducing the threat of mines and other explosives devices. UNMAS also engages in activities supporting capacity enhancement, mine risk education and assistance to survivors of mine related accidents.



The UNMAS programme in Western Sahara is primarily funded by the UN Assessed Budget. Germany (EUR 3.85 million) and Spain (EUR 45,000) are contributing to the UNMAS programmes in Western Sahara through the Voluntary Trust fund. UNMAS aims to further expand its programme.

Updated: March 2017

Programme of:



  • 89,261,508 sqm of hazardous areas released, representing 25% of the total accessible reported suspected hazardous areas (minefields)
  • 8,125 km of roads verified or cleared for use by UN military observers patrols, of which 790 km have been released since 1 July 2015
  • 7,725 mines removed and destroyed
  • 7910 unexploded ordnances destroyed
  • 2719 MINURSO personnel received landmine safety briefings
  • 31,928 local and nomadic people received mine risks education
  • 104 individuals (11 survivors of mine accidents and 93 of their dependents) received assistance