Since 2013, UNMAS Mali has contributed to the:
Protection of civilians from explosive hazards.
Improved access to livelihoods, freedom of movement and economic recovery for the population.
Support and enabling of humanitarian access in a conflict environment.
Development of a national Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) response capacity, notably through the establishment of an EOD Operations Coordination Centre (CCO).
4,391,584 square meters of land released to communities, 16,691 items of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and 112,127 items of small arms ammunition destroyed. Training of 1,469, Malian Defense and Security Forces (MDSF) personnel in explosive ordnance and improvised explosive device disposal (EOD/IEDD) threat mitigation training.
460,725 people reached with UNMAS-funded risk education since 2015; awareness messages broadcast in five national languages through local radio stations; 1,192 humanitarian workers briefed through explosive hazards awareness sessions; and 416 drivers operating in affected areas (including humanitarian organizations) briefed on the risk of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
571 tons of obsolete, unsafe and unserviceable ammunition, including 85 obsolete surface-to-air missiles (2014), and nearly 11,500 firearms safely destroyed in support of the Malian authorities. This represents the world’s largest ammunition stockpile disposed of by a national authority with UNMAS assistance.
68 armouries and ammunition storage areas were built and rehabilitated, and 637 MDSF personnel successfully completed the training in safe and secure weapons and ammunition management (WAM).
 The number of MDSF personnel trained has been adjusted in January 2023 following changes in the methodology for beneficiary reporting to avoid double counting for multiple training activities with the same direct beneficiary group.
Since the outbreak of conflict in 2012, Mali suffers from an explosive threat, particularly emanating from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). This threat has had a wide-ranging detrimental impact on the safety and freedom of movement of state authorities, international actors, as well as civilians, in the northern and central parts of the country.
In addition to posing a serious threat to civilians, the contamination limits access to local livelihoods and basic services, hampers the delivery of humanitarian assistance and inhibits freedom of movement of the population. More generally, explosive hazards contamination hinders economic recovery and development.
Since 2017, Mali has experienced a significant increase in IEDs/mines recorded particularly in the centre of the country, which has resulted in high numbers of casualties among civilians and impeding stabilization efforts. Since 2021, there has been a gradual expansion of the explosive threat towards the south and west of the country. Since July 2013 until the end of June 2023, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has recorded 1,630 IEDs/mines utilized by non-state armed groups, leaving 1,132 people dead and injuring 2,556 more. In 2022, civilians represented 43% of all IED/mine casualties across Mali (in 2021: 25%) and in 2023 (as of the end of June) 39% of all casualties. Mopti and Segou remained the regions with most IEDs/mines recorded (67%) and the largest share of casualties in 2023.
The number of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) victims reduced from a record of 56 to 18 in 2021. From January until June 2023, 11 ERW victims were recorded (five civilians killed and six other injured), bringing the total number of civilian victims of ERW identified to 357 since 2012.
On 30 June, the Security Council resolution 2690 requested MINUSMA, including UNMAS, to immediately cease its operations, transfer its tasks, as well as to orderly and safely drawdown and withdraw its personnel by 31 December 2023, in close consultation with the Transition Government of Mali and in coordination with the troop and police contributing countries. The residual activities of UNMAS directly support the orderly and safe drawdown and withdrawal of MINUSMA specifically ensuring the safety and security of United Nations personnel from explosive hazards as well as supporting the disposal of ammunition and explosives and providing risk assessment certifications upon camp closures.
UNMAS’s contribution to Mali before the termination of MINUSMA’s mandate on 30 June 2023:
1. Protection of civilians through mine action
As the co-lead of the Humanitarian Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MAoR)/Working Group (Groupe de travail de lutte antimines humanitaire (GTLAMH), in French) UNMAS coordinates humanitarian mine action activities in Mali. UNMAS also provides explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) and victim assistance activities within communities and training and continued mentoring in conducting humanitarian mine action activities to Malian civil society organizations. UNMAS also ensures that international mine action partners comply with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) through quality control and quality assurance from its various field offices in Gao, Kidal, Mopti, Tessalit and Timbuktu.
2. Support to national authorities in explosive hazard management
UNMAS supports national authorities in developing technical and operational capacity to safely manage explosive threats, coordinate the response and comply with international standards through the provision of training, specialized equipment and technical support as well as mentoring of MDSF personnel. UNMAS also provides advisory support to the Malian authorities in addition to advising the Permanent Secretariat to Counter the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons on Mali’s international obligations regarding explosive ordnances and weapons and ammunition.
3. Making operations safer for MINUSMA civilian and uniformed personnel
UNMAS provides critical explosive threat mitigation support to MINUSMA peacekeepers, through technical advice and delivery of in-mission and pre-deployment training to the troops, and on building sustainability through training-of-trainers and mentoring to enable peacekeepers to operate safely in an asymmetric environment and enable Mission mandate delivery and facilitate freedom of movement – in line with the Secretary General’s Action for Peace (A4P+) initiative as well as the Action Plan on Improving the Security of Peacekeepers. Threat-specific specialized training is also provided to MINUSMA EOD companies.
UNMAS Mali was entirely funded through the MINUSMA Assessed Budget until the end of June 2023, and benefits from United States of America and Switzerland in-kind support.
Data as of 31 July 2023