Since 2013, UNMAS Mali has contributed to the:
Protection of civilians from explosive hazards. Between 2012 and 2019, the number of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) victims gradually reduced from 56 to 6 per year. In 2020, 24 ERW victims were registered, in 2021 18, and one in 2022 so far.
Improved access to livelihoods, freedom of movement and economic recovery for the population.
Support and enabling of humanitarian access in an asymmetric-conflict environment.
Development of a national Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) response capacity, which resulted in the establishment of an EOD Operations Coordination Centre (CCO) with its own training capacity.
4,391,584 square meters of land released to communities, 2,359 villages surveyed, 16,648 items of ERW and 111,761 items of small arms ammunition destroyed. Training of 1,382 MDSF personnel in explosive threat mitigation.
381,704 people reached with UNMAS-funded risk education since 2015; awareness messages broadcast in five national languages through local radio stations; 1,095 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 built and rehabilitated, and 547 MDSF personnel successfully completed the training in safe and secure weapons and ammunition management (WAM).
Following the outbreak of conflict in 2012, explosive hazards* became a new threat in Mali, with a broad-ranging, detrimental impact on the safety and freedom of movement in the central and northern 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. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Returnees are particularly at risk. More generally, explosive hazards contamination hinders economic recovery and development.
Since 2017, Mali has experienced a significant increase in IED incidents particularly in the centre of the country, which has resulted in high numbers of casualties among civilians and impeding stabilization efforts. In 2021, civilians represented 25% of all IED casualties across Mali, and Mopti remained the region with most IED incidents (32%).
In Mali, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), as part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), is mandated by UN Security Council resolution 2584 (2021), which prioritizes: 1. Protection of civilians and stabilization efforts in the Centre; 2. Enhancement of national capacities in explosive ordnance threat mitigation 3. Training of the MINUSMA troops in countering the explosive threat.
UNMAS vision for Mali: The population in Mali is safer and more secure as a result of the reduced threat posed by explosive ordnance.
Protection of civilians through mine action
As the co-lead for the Humanitarian Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MAoR)/Working Group (GTLAM, in French) UNMAS co-leads, coordinates and implements humanitarian mine action activities such as the survey and marking of contaminated areas; explosive ordnance risk education (EORE); victim assistance and armed violence reduction activities. 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.
Support to national authorities in explosive hazard management
UNMAS assists national authorities in developing technical capacity to safely manage explosive threats, coordinate the response and comply with international standards through the provision of training, specialized equipment and technical support, and 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 mines, ERW and weapons and ammunition.
Making operations safer for MINUSMA civilian and uniformed personnel
UNMAS provides explosive threat mitigation support to MINUSMA, through technical advice and delivery of in-mission and pre-deployment training to the troops in order to facilitate freedom of movement of peacekeeping personnel as well as to improve resilience and safety for the delivery of the Mission mandate – in line with the Secretary General’s Action for Peace (A4P+) initiative as well as the Action Plan on Improving the Security of Peacekeepers. Specialized support is also provided to the MINUSMA EOD companies.
UNMAS Mali is primarily funded through the MINUSMA Assessed Budget, as well as the United States of America and Switzerland through in-kind support.
Data as of February 2022