More efforts needed to mop out landmines – UN

More efforts needed to mop out landmines – UN
Unused landmines being destroyed. [Courtesy]

United Nation warns of an urgent need to mop out the landmine in South Sudan.

Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for South Sudan said that there are more harmful mines, especially in Gondokoro, Central Equatoria.

“The discovery of new threats is what has brought me back to Gondokoro today,” said Nyanti during a visit to assess the progress of the activities of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

“I was here in February and at the time we were looking at 16 mines that needed to be destroyed, and now, in May, the team has found over 50 and are continuing to find more such threats to life. This is indicative of the situation we have in South Sudan when it comes to mine action. There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of work that’s being done. It’s extremely dangerous and laborious.”

Fran O’ Grady, Chief of Mine Action in South Sudan serving under UNMAS said “mines and unexploded ordnance continue to be a tangible reminder of the country’s violent past and continue to affect communities today.’’

He added: “But I am immensely proud of the hard work done by all UNMAS and national deminers to make Gondokoro a safer place for communities to lead their lives.” It’s not been an easy undertaking.

So far, our teams have found and safely cleared more than 50 mines, freeing up an area totaling 147,820 square meters. That is comparable to around 15 football fields,” Grady said.

The City Review, however, could not independently verify these figure.

He called for cooperation to smoothen the exercise, adding that the South Sudanese would be the beneficiaries in the long run.

”Saving lives and building a brighter future for South Sudan is a shared goal and can only be achieved through partnerships and commitment.”

UN mine action progress

50 mines so far mopped up

147,820 square metres of space cleared.