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UNMAS MANDATE, IN SUPPORT OF UNOCI
UNMAS has been supporting the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) since April 2011, when deploying immediately after the post-electoral crisis to assess the nature of and threat posed by explosive remnants of war (ERW) at the request of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). Security Council Resolution 2284 (2016) – renewing UNOCI’s mandate for a final period until 30 June 2017 – continues to highlight the importance of UNMAS work in Côte d’Ivoire.
Since 2011, UNMAS has undertaken a wide range of activities to enhance the protection of civilians and support consolidation of peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire, aiming to reduce the threat and build a national capacity able to independently manage weapons and explosive hazards. By mid-2017, UNMAS will have completed the transfer of responsibilities for weapons and ammunition management and for response to the explosive threat to the relevant national authorities.
IMPACT OF UNMAS PROGRAMME IN COTE D'IVOIRE
As such, UNMAS has supported UNOCI’s wider protection and stabilization efforts by providing assistance in three main areas: (i) Protection of civilians; (ii) Security Sector Reform; and (iii) Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR).
Protecting Civilians against Explosive Hazards:
- UNMAS has reduced the unexploded ordnance (UXO) and ERW threat to a manageable level by: disposing of all known UXO and ERW; carrying out hundreds of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) rapid response interventions during the first years after deployment; clearing 860,000 m2 of contaminated land through battle areas clearance (BAC); and destroying all known stockpiles of anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs.
Strengthening the national capacity to manage explosive hazards:
- UNMAS has worked with the Government to develop an action plan for Weapon and Ammunition Management (WAM) as part of the national security strategy, and provided technical support and guidance for compliance to the Oslo and Ottawa Conventions.
- In order to enhance the securization of weapons and ammunition, UNMAS has constructed and rehabilitated 248 armouries and ammunition storage facilities in all significant locations across the country as identified by the national authorities. National standards for storage have been developed; as well as a comprehensive national stockpile inventory.
- UNMAS has delivered 25 specialized trainings to 421 members of the military, police and gendarmerie in WAM, EOD and Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD).
- In its final year of operations in Cote d’Ivoire, UNMAS is working with the Government to establish an EOD cell within the existing Centre de Coordination des Décisions Opérationnelles (CCDO). This will form the country’s EOD rapid response capability in the event that an explosive device is found. This is an important step towards ensuring that Cote d’Ivoire’s own security forces coordinate the explosive threat response countrywide.
- Since July 2015, UNMAS supports the community disarmament activities of the National Commission for SALW (ComNat-ALPC) with technical advice and mentorship. UNMAS will continue to reinforce ComNat-ALPC’s capacity to independently conduct disarmament operations by providing refresher training on standards and planning requirements and additional EOD training.
- In support of Violence Reduction, UNMAS has provided community-based ERW and SALW risk education sessions to 11,000 beneficiaries and held community-gendarmerie dialogue in 13 communities in the West, to help prevent accidents and manage conflict.
Supporting Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) operations:
- UNMAS has played a prominent role in the ‘disarmament’ part of the DDR process that was initiated in 2012 by the National DDR Authority (ADDR) and supported by UNOCI until June 2015.
- Overall, UNMAS has supported 1,172 disarmament operations by verifying, securing and storing 21,584 weapons, 33,009 items of ammunition and 1,567,992 rounds of Small Arms Ammunition (SAA) collected by ADDR, ComNat or UNOCI DDR section. Additionally, 13,340 unserviceable weapons and small arms were cut at the request of the national authorities.
Clearance of UN sites upon departure of UNOCI troops
- With the withdrawal of the troops contributing countries from UNOCI ahead of the full closure of the Mission in June 2017, UNMAS conducts technical surveys and, if necessary, performs clearance or ammunition disposal. So far, UNMAS has cleared 20 contaminated areas and provided support to destroy contingent’s ammunition.
UNMAS in Côte d’Ivoire is funded through the Assessed Budget of UNOCI, which has been renewed until June 2017.
Updated January 2017