Destroyed more than 6.2 million items of small arms ammunition and 1.2 million items of explosive devices, including 40,556 mines, 79,734 cluster munitions, and 1.1 million other items of unexploded ordnance (UXO), to make safe: 2,021 water points, 3,301 schools, and 344 health clinics.
Cleared 4,792 km of road, enabling UN and humanitarian partners to deliver life-saving aid, as well as supporting functioning markets and sustainable development.
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) ensured that 6.1 million people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and host communities, can recognize and report explosive hazards.
Since its inception in 2004, UNMAS has cleared 46.4 km2 of minefields and 81.9 km2 of cluster strikes and battlefields as well as surveying and confirming more than 1,170 km2 of suspected areas.
The total contamination area is now estimated to be around 16.1 km² (approximately 2,285 football pitches) with 345 remaining tasks comprising 112 AP minefields, 74 AT minefields and roads, 125 cluster munition strikes, and 34 confrontation areas. UNMAS believes that all AP minefields can be cleared within four years – given safe access and appropriate funding. Recognising that the requirement for a spot UXO clearance capacity will remain for decades, UNMAS is supporting the strengthening and the maintenance of the National Mine Action Authority's capacity to enable them to effectively handle residual EO threats. Majority of the remaining contamination is centered in the southern part of the Greater Equatoria region, which is currently the area of greatest insecurity. Much of the contamination straddles the primary return routes for the refugees in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Safe land is needed for resettlement and agriculture, and a prerequisite for safe return.
As of 5 December 2022, UNMAS coordinates 18 mine action teams. Each year the teams clear approximately 2.7 km2 of mine fields and 4.2 km2 of cluster strikes and battlefields and deliver safety messaging to more than 300,000 people.
UNMAS is an integral component of UNMISS, mandated under Security Council Resolution 2625 (2022), and supports the four core objectives: protection of civilians, creating the conditions conductive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, supporting the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and the peace process, and monitoring and investigating human rights.
Survey and Clearance:
From May to June 2022, UNMAS conducted survey and clearance operations for the Malakal to Canal road that had not been operational since 2015, following a mine strike on a vehicle. The community members had been forced to use alternative, longer and dangerous routes as a result of this strike, exposing them to dangers such as theft, sexual exploitation and inaccessibility to medical aid and food. Once the road was cleared, the community had renewed faith and confidence in using the route.
In January 2022, whilst clearing a road contaminated by anti-tank mines in Western Bahr el Ghazal, UNMAS found an adjacent unused road not on the map. This old road, from Raga to Danga-Mayom towards the border with Sudan, was last used in 2001 as a military supply route during the civil war, since which it had become overgrown and impassable. With humanitarian and development impact in mind, UNMAS technical teams led the way in assessing and clearing the route from February to March 2022, thereby creating safe paths for communities and traders.
Protection of Civilians:
Early this year, a community in Canal/Pigi, Jonglei State, was displaced by flooding and resettled inside a minefield. UNMAS responded to the community request and cleared over 17,000 km² of land that currently hosts over 10,000 people, consisting of IDPs and the host community. In August, the DSRSG/RC/HC Sara Beysolow Nyanti visited the communities and witnessed the impact clearance of explosive hazards has on the communities. One female community member told the DSRSG “After UNMAS cleared the mines, our children are moving freely. In the past, we kept our children inside the tukuls and asked them not to move.’’
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education:
South Sudan continuously faced high levels of insecurity and widespread flooding in 2022, with more than 616,000 people being impacted. In Upper Nile, one of the worst impacted states, many were displaced by flooding and intercommunal clashes that rendered them homeless and in dire need of shelter and protection. Tonga clashes broke out in August 2022, displacing thousands of people. As a direct response, UNMAS provided EORE to a total of 15,175 IDPs (4,482 boys, 4,451 girls, 2,561 men and 3,681 women) to help raise awareness about the threats posed by EO.
Weapons and Ammunition Management:
UNMAS supports UNMISS through the provision of technical advice and assistance relating to a broad range of weapons and ammunition management (WAM) issues. In the context of protection of civilians, this includes advising national authorities on safe storage and effective security of stockpiles, appropriate disposal of unserviceable ammunition, as well as weapons marking and destruction.
UNMAS South Sudan receives funding from assessed contributions to the UN Peacekeeping operation through the Department of Peace Operations.
Data as of December 2022