After more than 20 years of conflict in Sudan, landmines, unexploded ordnance, and widely available small arms, light weapons, and munitions continue to threaten lives, hinder economic recovery, and limit access to essential goods, services, and humanitarian aid. The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has been helping the Sudanese people in the Nuba Mountains region, in Kassala State, Blue Nile State, and throughout much of South Sudan to confront these threats with nearly $20 million in humanitarian mine action and small arms/light weapons destruction assistance since 2005 as part of the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) Program in Sudan. The ongoing Program has:
- Destroyed more than 50 metric tons of weaponry, including man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), often referred to as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, over 800 anti-vehicle landmines, and nearly 2000 anti-personnel landmines, as well as hundreds of thousands of items of abandoned munitions and unexploded ordnance.
- Cleared more than 1.7 million square meters of land previously littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance.
- Promoted greater Sudanese self-sufficiency in demining by providing the sole international support to Sudan’s first internationally accredited humanitarian mine action organization, the Sudanese Integrated Mine Action Service (SIMAS).
- Funded capacity development within the National Mine Action Center in Khartoum and the Southern Sudan Demining Authority in Juba through the United Nations Development Program and Cranfield University.
- Informed more than 70,000 area residents and displaced persons in the aforementioned regions and states about potential hazards in their communities through thousands of mine risk education events.
United States-supported CWD operations are implemented by several non-governmental organization partners, including DanChurchAid, MAG (Mines Advisory Group), Norwegian Peoples Aid, and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action in Southern Kordofan, Jonglei, Blue Nile, and Western, Central, and Eastern Equatoria States.
The United States is a world leader in humanitarian mine action, having provided more than $1.5 billion since 1993 toward conventional weapons destruction, landmine clearance, mine risk education, and mine survivors assistance in nearly 50 countries. To learn more about the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra