Darfur, a region of Western Sudan, has been mired in conflict since 2003, when two Darfur-based armed rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took up arms against the Sudanese government. Up to 300,000 people are thought to have died and at least 2.6 million displaced from their homes in Darfur since the fighting broke out. The ongoing armed conflict has left a legacy of ERW and other explosive hazards.
UNMAS began its operations in Darfur in 2005, initially under the name of Western Regional Mine Action Office. On 1 January 2008, UNMAS became an integral component of the United Nations-African Union hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) called Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO). ODO has its main office in El Fasher and five sector offices: Darfur Sector North, South, and West, Zallingei and El Daein.
In line with Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007) with further amendamnets, ODO is mandated to support Mission tasks such as: protection of civilians, facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the safety and security of UNAMID and humanitarian personnel. This support is provided through four broad activities.
In response to the ERW contaminations, ODO deploys Rapid Response and National Multi-Task teams with special focus to areas where armed hostilities have occurred and communities hosting internally displaced persons. Such activities have provided a safer environment and improved freedom of movement among the local population.
Through risk education activities, communities are informed on the threats of ERW in their areas and on how to stay safe. The ERW risk education aims at achieving behavioural change among the communities at risk.
Weapon and ammunition safety management initiatives with national security actors help reduce potential theft of small arms and ammunition and mitigate the risk of unplanned explosions. Technical support to UNAMID Force and Formed Police Units supports compliance with International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).
ODO had been providing assistance to survivors of ERW accidents in their income-generation efforts, through construction of vocational centers and training them to acquire useful vocational skills in carpentry, wielding, sewing etc. However, for the current financial year, funding for e victim assistance activities is not available through the Peacekeeping Budget.
ODO activities are fully funded from the UNAMID Assessed Budget. For 2016/2017 fiscal year, ODO received USD 8,246,500 to provide ERW clearance, risk education and national capacity enhancement. However, additional funding in 2017/18 financial year would be required for ODO to support victim assistance initiatives and expand its interventions aimed at achieving a Darfur free of ERW.
Updated: March 2017