UN warns of continued threat of landmines, unexploded ordnances in South Sudan

UN warns of continued threat of landmines, unexploded ordnances in South Sudan
# 04 April 2024 23:33 (UTC +04:00)

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) said Thursday that threats of landmines and unexploded ordnances continues to endanger the lives of South Sudanese people, stemming from conflicts in the country, APA reports.

UNMAS officer Goran Tomasevic said contaminations caused by landmines and unexploded cluster munitions are quite serious with 17 million square kilometers of land that need to be cleared.

"We cleared hundreds of thousands of unexploded items, we had one million items destroyed a couple of years ago, we cleared millions of square meters of agricultural land, hundreds of kilometers of roads but there is more work to be done," Tomasevic said in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

He said a large area of South Sudan needs to be cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances, noting that they are yet to access some areas due to insecurity and flooding but plan to clear all mines in South Sudan by 2028.

"There can be more contamination in some remote areas that we have not been able to access either due to insecurity or due to flooding but we are going to plan to survey these additional areas and to clear them together with contamination that is already known," Tomasevic said.

Since the start of the year, they have recorded three accidents related to landmine and unexploded ordnances, he said, stressing that most of the incidents involve children playing with the ordnances.

He revealed that most of the contaminated areas are in the southern part of South Sudan in Eastern, Central, and Western Equatoria States and some parts of Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

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