Why MAG is needed in South Sudan
As of July 2012, the country had 704 recorded hazardous areas, 86 per cent of which were located in the Greater Equatoria and Jonglei states.
Particularly vulnerable to the threats posed by mines and ERW are refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), as they usually do not possess the 'local knowledge' about potential dangers.
This is a huge problem in South Sudan where the population is ‘on the move’, with large numbers of people fleeing violence in the border states, displaced by ethnic clashes, or returning to the country following the vote for independence in 2011.
More than 116,000 people have returned to South Sudan so far in 2012, with a further 500,000 South Sudanese registered in Sudan and expected to return in the coming months.
This population movement and resettlement has coincided with an increase in mine and ERW accidents in recent years, with 174 people killed or injured in 2011.
As well as threatening lives and limbs, mine and ERW contamination limits access to land and resources, hinders the provision of services such as health and education, and can affect development planning and implementation for decades after a conflict has ended.
Your donation to MAG helps us to move into current and former conflict zones to clear the
remnants of conflict, enabling recovery and assisting the development
of affected populations.
How to donate and where your money goes
How MAG is helping in South Sudan
MAG has been operational in South Sudan since 2004, removing the threat of injury and death, and helping to alleviate economic devastation.
This is alongside developing the organisational and operational capacity of our national non-governmental organisation (NGO) partner Operation Saves Innocent Lives, which MAG was supported since 1998, resulting in a sustainable national Mine Action capacity within South Sudan after the exit of other Mine Action organisations.
In order to achieve the greatest impact for our beneficiaries, MAG deploys two Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams, three Multi-Task teams, one mechanical team and eight Community Liaison (CL) teams, who are supported by two operational bases in Juba and Yei.
These teams have the capability to apply various methodologies, including technical survey, Battle Area Clearance, manual clearance, mechanical ground preparation and EOD.
Through a combination of these assets, MAG is able to reduce suspected and confirmed minefields to low residual risk level, clear unexploded ordnance spot tasks and destroy stockpiles.
An integrated and community based approach to Mine Action has been the basis of MAG’s success in South Sudan. CL teams work both independently and alongside clearance teams collecting Hazardous Area reports, and providing Mine Risk Education (MRE) to at-risk populations.
MAG works very closely with the South Sudan Repatriation and Reintegration Committee, the South Sudan Mine Action Authority, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNICEF, and UNHCR. MAG also provides complementary MRE sessions aimed at staff of development/humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies in South Sudan.
These highly popular information sharing sessions allow us to inform the wider development community about risk management in South Sudan relating to ERW, and share information about specific contaminated areas in which organisations may be working in, or plan to work in. Between Janaury and August 2012, MAG provided such training to almost 900 UN/NGO staff.
Also in 2012, MAG CL teams provided MRE to 162,698 individuals, released 887,422m2 of land, through a combination of survey and clearance methods, and removed 127,822 ERW.
Landmines, and scattered and stockpiled UXO and small arms ammunition that have often been left in towns, villages and other populated areas, put local populations at risk – notably children, who are drawn to the interesting shapes and shiny exterior of many dangerous items.
Released land is not only used by communities for resettlement and livelihoods purposes, but also enables development agencies and local government to access areas to provide basic services to local populations.
Page last updated: September 2012
More about MAG's work in South Sudan