Since 2013, UNMAS Mali has contributed to:
- Protection of civilians, with a significant decrease in the number of victims of explosive remnants of war (ERW). Between 2012 and 2019, the number of ERW victims gradually went down from 56 to 6 per year, with 5 victims being recorded in 2020 so far;
- Improved access to livelihoods, freedom of movement and economic recovery for the population;
- Increased safety for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
- Development of national explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) response capacity, which resulted in the establishment of an EOD Operations Coordination Centre (CCO) and its own training capacity.
4,391,584 square meters of land released to communities, 2,227 villages surveyed, 16,326 items of ERW and 111,614 items of small arms ammunition destroyed. Training of 1,227 Malian Defence and Security Forces (MDSF) personnel in explosive threat mitigation.
More than 312,000 people reached with UNMAS-funded risk education since 2015; awareness messages broadcast in five national languages through local radio stations; over 992 humanitarian workers briefed through explosive hazards awareness sessions; and 387 drivers operating in affected areas (including humanitarian organizations) briefed on the risk of IEDs.
570 tons of obsolete, unsafe and unserviceable ammunition, including 85 obsolete surface-to-air missiles (2014), and nearly 11,500 firearms safely destroyed in support to the Malian authorities. This represents the world’s largest ammunition stockpile disposed of by a national authority with UNMAS assistance.
49 armouries and ammunition storage areas have been rehabilitated, and 552 MDSF personnel trained 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 late 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 2019, 94% of civilian victims were recorded in the Mopti region, and in the first quarter of 2020, 59% in Mopti, and 41% in Timbuktu.
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 2480 (2019) which prioritizes: 1. Protection of civilians and stabilization efforts in the Centre; 2. Enhancement of national capacities in explosive ordnance threat mitigation and safe weapons and ammunition management; 3. Training of the MINUSMA troops in countering the explosive threat.
*Explosive hazards refer to mines, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and Improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
UNMAS vision for Mali: The Government of Mali, Malian civil society and the United Nations are able to mitigate and respond to explosive threats to significantly reduce the impact of landmines, ERW and IEDs, at which point UN Mine Action assistance is no longer requested.
As the national coordinator for mine action, UNMAS leads, coordinates and implements humanitarian mine action activities such as survey, marking and clearance of prioritized contaminated areas, explosive hazard risk education, victim assistance and armed violence reduction. UNMAS also ensures that international 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.
UNMAS assists the national authorities in developing technical capacity to safely manage explosive threats, coordinate the response and comply with IMAS through the provision of training, specialized equipment and technical support, and mentoring of MDSF personnel. UNMAS also provides advisory support and training to the Malian authorities in weapons and ammunition storage and management, 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.
UNMAS provides explosive threat mitigation support to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), through technical advice and delivery of in-country and pre-deployment training to the troops in order to facilitate freedom of movement of civilians and peacekeeping personnel as well as to improve resilience and safety for the delivery of the Mission mandate. Specialized support is also provided to the MINUSMA explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) companies.
UNMAS Mali is primarily funded through the MINUSMA Assessed Budget, the UN Trust Fund in Support of Peace and Security in Mali, as well as the United States of America and Switzerland through in-kind support.
Updated: May 2020