Sudan: UN Cleans Abyei of Unexploded Weapons
Text of report in English by Paris-based Sudanese newspaper Sudan Tribune website on 12 August
Abyei has been successfully cleared of unexploded bombs and land mines, the United Nations Mine Action Office (UNMAO) said in a press statement today.
“UNMAO has successfully cleared Abyei of unexploded ordnance (UXO),” the statement said. It further said that UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs will now be able to return to the area and provide much-needed support to the remaining population and to returnees.
The two parties of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement agreed last June on a roadmap to implement Abyei protocol and to end difference over the findings of a border commission.
The roadmap also encompasses a series of security arrangements to be enforced before the return of the population displaced by the last May fighting. Around 50000 people were displaced and 89 killed.
Abyei row is considered as the biggest threat to Sudan’s landmark 2005 north-south peace deal that ended decades of civil war in Africa’s largest nation.
The UNMAO said its partner Mine Tech International and the Red Cross systematically removed and destroyed all devices found in battle.
UNMAO also sent Mine Risk Education teams to Al Mujlad and Agkok (respectively north and south of Abyei) to provide information on the prevention of UXO accidents to people displaced by fighting.
on 6 August, UNMAO tasked the Egyptian Military Demining Company to destroy a stockpile of 4,800 abandoned munitions. As Suleiman Nyamwaya, UNMAO’s operations officer who attended the stockpile destruction put it, “this completed the clearance of UXO in Abyei and will enable the safe return of displaced families to the area”.
Originally published by Sudan Tribune website, Paris in English 12 Aug 08.
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