UK to donate $2.65M for mine clearance

UK to donate $2.65M for mine clearance

The United Kingdom government will provide $2.65 million to help clear land for resettlement and agriculture under its Global Mine Action Programme.

 According to a press statement from the British Embassy, mines-and-bomb cluster munitions remnants pose a threat to South Sudan’s reconstruction efforts. Mines and ERW have killed an estimated 1,400 people and injured over 3,800 since 2004.

“In a context of high humanitarian need in South Sudan, where 9 million people live,. More than 70 percent of the population, needs some form of assistance – access to safe land, free from mines and explosive remnants of war is vital,” he said.

“Land clearance has many benefits: reducing risks of injury and death; boosting agricultural livelihoods; mitigating food insecurity and resource scarcity; contributing to social cohesion; and increasing access to basic services,” it added.

It further stated that the funding of the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) will focus on cleaning highways connecting Juba and Nimule in favour of trade and free transit between the two areas.

“With UK funding, MAG will deliver minefield clearance, battle area clearance, and risk education in these areas, focusing on the highway between Juba and Nimule to support the growth of trade and free movement between the two areas,” it added.

It added the funding will “contribute to enhancing the capacity of the National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) in South Sudan by supporting MAG’s capacity-building initiatives such as the secondment of NMAA staff to MAG demining teams and sending staff on advanced international training on Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).”

According to the statement, the support will mark the next phase of UK support to South Sudan through its Global Mine Action Program.

 According to the press statement, MAG’s UK-funded demining team has cleared over 215,000 m of land in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State, as well as removed and destroyed 400 sub-munitions, and conducted 24 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) spot tasks following reports from the community members since April 2022.