2,056 kilometres of roads and 4.32 million square meters of land within the Abyei Area assessed as safe from explosive hazards, enabling peacekeeping operations and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
4,266 items of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 25,959 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.
229 confiscated weapons and over 10,468 rounds of small arms ammunition destroyed at the UNISFA Weapons and Ammunition Management Facility, contributing to peace and security in the Abyei Area.
6,353 UNISFA troops, military observers, staff officers, UNPOL, South Sudanese & Sudanese national monitors received Landmine & ERW Awareness Induction and JBVMM Integrated Ground Patrol Training.
200,139 men, women, boys, and girls living in the Abyei Area, including nomadic herdsmen, were provided with Mine Risk Education, enhancing awareness of 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 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 2519 (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).”
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 2519 (2020) 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 $11.09 million to cover activities from 01 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 has been received through UNISFA assessed budget.
(Data updated: June 2020)