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Colombia

UNMAS provides trainings to mine action sector on use of mine-detection dogs. Photo: UNMAS Colombia

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ABOUT

As a result of more than fifty years of conflict involving various non-state armed actors and criminal groups, Colombia suffers from widespread landmine and explosive remnant of war (ERW) contamination. Despite a declining trend in the number of mine and ERW victims, Colombia still registered 89 new casualties in 2016 and 18 during the first half of 2017. In 2016, the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP, the country’s largest non-state armed group, ratified a peace deal. Mine Action is now both benefitting from the accord and playing a major role in its implementation. Peace negotiations with the ELN, Colombia’s second largest non-state armed group, began in February 2017. Since 2010, UNMAS has assisted DAICMA and humanitarian demining organizations to expand the Mine Action sector and develop its coordination and regulatory frameworks.

ACTIVITIES

UNMAS provides technical assistance to Colombian mine action authorities and state entities more broadly, supporting the Government’s efforts to meet its 2021 Ottawa Treaty deadline to clear antipersonnel landmines. Assistance is focussed on sharing international best practices, strategic and operational planning, sector coordination, the development of national mine action standards and accreditation capacity, as well as the institutional strengthening of DAICMA.

UNMAS also promotes the capacity development and growth of humanitarian demining organizations. With a particular emphasis on supporting Colombian civilian organizations, UNMAS provides assistance on the development of standard operating procedures, training of personnel and compliance with accreditation processes. In addition to technical assistance, UNMAS also funds demining organizations to implement survey and clearance operations.

In the Government–FARC-EP peace accord, demining is recognised as a pre-requisite for post-conflict rural development, as an occupation for reintegrated ex-combatants and as a method for their provision of victim reparations. UNMAS supports DAICMA in coordinating with Government and UN stakeholders to achieve these planned mine action contributions to the accord, as well as efforts to build confidence in peace talks with the ELN through pilot demining projects.

FUNDING 

UNMAS is seeking USD 500,000 for 2018 to enable the continued deployment of technical advisors to DAICMA. For 2019, UNMAS is seeking USD 1.8 million to fund its core activities as well as the advisors.

Updated: August 2017

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IMPACT

Through the provision of technical assistance to national mine action body DAICMA –Descontamina Colombia, UNMAS has contributed to the following results:

  • National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2016-21 and operational demining plan launched in 2016
  • Sector regulation improved with 12 new national mine action standards adopted and a further 13 under development
  • 134 impacted municipalities assigned to demining organizations
  • Demining capacity expanded through the accreditation of 8 civilian organizations
  • Progress on the reintegration of ex-combatants through mine action, including the accreditation of Humanicemos DH, the world’s first demining organization formed entirely by ex-combatants
  • 63 highly mine-affected municipalities targeted by demining operations since the establishment of the UNMAS Colombia Programme in 2010
  • 1,704 landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) destroyed since 2010
  • 2.8 km2 of landmine/UXO contamination cleared since 2010

 

Press Release

2017

GOBIERNO DE ITALIA ANUNCIA APOYO FINANCIERO PARA DESMINADO HUMANITARIO EN COLOMBIA A TRAVÉS DE UNMAS


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