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Abyei Programme



1,975 kilometers of roads and 4.24 million square meters of land within the Abyei Area assessed as safe from explosive hazards, enabling peacekeeping operations and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

4,232 items of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 25,356 rounds of small arms ammunition removed and destroyed, enabling the safe return of people to previously abandoned communities and a peaceful migration by nomadic herdsmen. 

224 confiscated weapons and over 10,196 rounds of small arms ammunition destroyed at the UNISFA Weapons and Ammunition Management Facility, contributing to peace and security in the Abyei Area. 

6,145 UNISFA troops, military observers, staff officers, UNPOL, South Sudanese & Sudanese national monitors received Landmine & ERW Awareness Induction and JBVMM Integrated Ground Patrol Training.

199,425 men, women, boys, and girls living in the Abyei Area, including nomadic herdsmen, reached by Mine 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 recognized 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, destabilizing 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, UNS/RES 2497 (2019).

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).”


  • 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 safe migration of nomadic herdsmen.


UNMAS delivers mine 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.


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 2497 (2019) reaffirmed the 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$11.3 million to cover activities from 01 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 has been received through UNISFA assessed budget.


Updated 29 February 2020