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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 heavily contaminated with landmines and ERW as a result of 16 years of conflict. Explosive hazards continue to endanger the lives of UN military personnel who monitor the ceasefire and international personnel who provide logistical support east of the berm, as well as the vulnerable nomadic and local populations and their livestock on which they are dependent.

Since February 2008, UNMAS has an established mine action programme (Mine Action Coordination Center – MACC) within the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). MACC has supported the implementation of the Mission mandate in monitoring the ceasefire. By reducing the threat of mines and other explosives devices, the MACC has enabled the safe passage for MINURSO military observers and civilian logistical support. With funding from bilateral donors, the MACC also engages in activities supporting capacity enhancement, humanitarian clearance, mine risk education, landmine safety training and assistance to survivors of mine related accidents.



UNMAS Programme in the Territory of Western Sahara is primarily funded by the UN Assessed Budget (USD 3.26 million). The governments of Germany (EUR 3.85 million) through October 2018 and Spain (EUR 45,000) through February 2018 are contributing to the UNMAS programmes in the Territory of Western Sahara through the Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF). In January 2018, UNMAS received an additional contribution of (EUR 45,000) from the Government of Spain to resume its Victim Assistance project. Additional funding is sought in the areas of clearance, survivor support and capacity development of local resources to independently manage mine action related activities in the future.

Updated: January 2018

Programme of:



From the inception of the programme in the Territory of Western Sahara east of the berm to date:

  • 136,672,445 sqm of hazardous areas released (minefields and cluster strike areas).
  • 8,570 km of roads verified or cleared for UN military observers patrols, of which 472 km have been verified since 1 July 2015.
  • 7,759 landmines removed and destroyed.
  • 8,038 unexploded ordnances destroyed.
  • 22,794 sub-munitions destroyed.
  • 3,024 MINURSO personnel received Landmine Safety Training.
  • 62,724 local and nomadic people received Mine Risk Education.
  • 104 individuals (11 survivors of mine accidents and 93 of their dependents) received assistance.




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