2,730 kilometres of roads and 4.75 million square meters of land within the Abyei Area assessed as safe from explosive hazards, enabling peacekeeping operations and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
4,311 items of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 25,959 rounds of small arms ammunition removed and destroyed, enabling safe return of people to previously abandoned communities and a peaceful migration by nomadic herdsmen.
261 confiscated weapons and over 11,886 rounds of small arms ammunition destroyed at the UNISFA Weapons and Ammunition Management Facility, contributing to peace and security in the Abyei Area.
8,940 UNISFA troops, military observers, staff officers, UNPOL, South Sudanese & Sudanese national monitors received Landmine & ERW Awareness Induction and JBVMM Integrated Ground Patrol Training.
204,316 men, women, boys, and girls living in the Abyei Area, including nomadic people, reached by Explosive Ordnance Risk Education, enhancing awareness on the dangers posed by ERW.
UNMAS in support of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei
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 recognised 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, destabilising 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 2550 (2020).
The resolution continues to demand “…that the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan continue to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to ensure freedom of movement, as well as the identification and clearance of mines in the Abyei Area and the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ).”
UNMAS enables peacekeeping operations
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 safe migration of nomadic herdsmen.
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE)
UNMAS delivers explosive ordnance risk education to UNISFA personnel, enhancing their knowledge of how to respond when they encounter items of ERW while conducting operations. Similar messages are delivered to communities within the Abyei Area.
Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism
UNMAS Patrol Support Teams deploy together with Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism Ground Patrol Teams to allow them to move freely and protect them against any explosive hazards that are encountered in the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone.
Weapons and Ammunition Management
UN Security Council Resolution 2550 (2020) reaffirmed UNISFA mandate to confiscate and destroy weapons. UNMAS manages the disposal of weapons and ammunition confiscated by UNISFA troops, working closely with stakeholders such as UNPOL, ETHBATT and national monitors from Sudan and South Sudan.
Funding of US$10.75 million to cover activities from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 has been received through UNISFA assessed budget.
Data as of April 2021