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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 Army and the Sudan Armed Forces in the Abyei Area escalated 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 Security Council Resolution 1990, which established the mission and recognized the need for demining assistance. A mine 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 2318 (2016). 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).” 



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 herdsmen.

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 takes the lead in weapons and ammunition destruction confiscated by UNISFA troops, working closely with UNPOL, UNISFA troops as well as national monitors from Sudan and South Sudan


Funding of US$20.3 million to cover activities from 01 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 has been received through UNISFA assessed budget. UNMAS – UNISFA is fully funded to 30 June 2017.

Updated March 2017

Programme of:



  • 957 kilometres of roads and 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.
  • 3,949 items of explosive remnants of war (ERW) over 24,000 rounds of small arms ammunition and removed and destroyed, enabling safe return of people to previously abandoned communities and a peaceful migration by nomadic herdsmen.
  • 125 confiscated weapons and over 8,000 rounds of small arms ammunition destroyed at the UNISFA Weapons and Ammunition Management Facility, contributing to peace and security in the Abyei Area.
  • 2,600 UNISFA troops, military observers, staff officers, UNPOL, South Sudanese & Sudanese national monitors received Landmine & ERW Awareness Induction and JBVMM Integrated Ground Patrol Training.
  • 84,000 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. 







More Weapons and Ammunition Destroyed in Abyei

As part of the continuing efforts to reduce the impact and risk of explosive



UNISFA Conducts First Weapons and Ammunition Destruction Activity

On 11 November 2015, UNISFA conducted its first weapons and ammunition destruction activity in Abyei. UNMAS took the...