Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 04 January 2017

Action points based on findings

  • Implement and fund the Victim Assistance Strategic Framework.
  • Improve casualty-tracking mechanisms to ensure an accurate picture of the victim assistance needs.
  • Sustain the improved coordination and availability of services for explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors and other persons with disabilities made possible through the victim assistance program in Darfur.
  • Dedicate resources to the approval and full implementation of the revised disability policy and new policies and programs to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities across a range of government programs.

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Sudan is responsible for a significant number of landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other ERW who are in need. Sudan has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.

Sudan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 24 April 2009.

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2015

2,013 registered mine/ERW casualties

Casualties in 2015

104 (2014: 39)

2015 casualties by outcome

33 killed; 71 injured (2014: 1 killed; 38 injured)

2015 casualties by device type


Of the total 104 mine/ERW casualties reported in Sudan for 2015, 26 mine/ERW casualties were recorded by the National Mine Action Center (NMAC) in Western Kordofan and Blue Nile states.[1] The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) identified 73 casualties in three states of Darfur—Eastern, Northern and Southern[2]—and another five casualties were reported in the contested region of Abyei.[3] Of the 26 casualties reported in Western Kordofan and Blue Nile, 14 people were killed—five men, one boy, and eight people whose age and gender were not recorded—and 12 injured—five men and seven whose age and gender were not recorded; all of the unspecified casualties were from Western Kordofan. Of the casualties from Darfur, 15 people were killed and 58 injured in 45 separate incidents. The age and gender of the casualties in Darfur were not recorded. In Abyei, four boys were killed and one injured when they tampered with an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade.

According to the founder of Jasmar Human Security Organization, the “number of landmine victims is underestimated in Sudan, due to the lack of accuracy in the collection of data. There are incidents that are never reported.”[4] The 104 reported casualties represented more than double the number (40) reported in 2014. NMAC identified suspected hazardous areas in five states, only one of which—Blue Nile—had reported casualties and the most affected state, South Kordofan, had no reported casualties. The security situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states precludes extensive mine action operations which limits NMAC’s data collection and validation efforts.[5] The Monitor received at least one unconfirmed report of landmine casualties (that are not included in the above statistics) in South Kordofan, which killed three people and injured three others.[6] NMAC does not consider any of the states of Darfur to be landmine affected.

NMAC registered 2,013 mine/ERW casualties for the period from 2002 to the end of 2015.[7] Sudan must improve its casualty-tracking system as it reported 1,429 mine/ERW survivors in Sudan at the end of 2015,[8] an increase of 39 survivors, which exceeds the number of reported injuries (34) for 2015.

Cluster munition casualties

In 2015, there were no reported cluster submunition casualties, although there were reports of the use of cluster munitions in South Kordofan.[9] There were a total of 35 casualties from cluster munitions in Sudan through the end of 2013, 23 of which occurred in 2009 or before.[10]

Victim Assistance

There were at least 1,429 mine/ERW survivors in Sudan at the end of 2015.[11]

Victim assistance under the Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014

Assistance for landmine survivors in Sudan has been irregular and insufficient to address the size of the problem. There had been some improvements in physical rehabilitation and, until 2012, in economic inclusion.

Victim assistance in Sudan is managed through two separate programs: one in the central and eastern parts of the country, run by the government and various national and international NGOs; the other in the states of Darfur, run by the African Union/UN mission.

With support from the ICRC, the National Authority for Prosthetic and Orthotics (NAPO) grew Sudan’s rehabilitation capacity from a single rehabilitation center, in Khartoum, to a total of six satellite centers and mobile units by 2009. However, reduced funding to NAPO decreased the supply of raw materials, created long waiting periods, and contributed to the closing of one center, in Kadugli, by the end of 2010. To ensure sustainability of the rehabilitation centers, NAPO established a prosthetics and orthotics program at Khartoum’s El Nileen University. While rehabilitation services were free for mine/ERW survivors, a lack of funding and insufficient raw materials meant that waiting periods were long, while the cost of transportation and accommodation made accessing services prohibitive. All physical rehabilitation services in Sudan terminated for a period of six months when NAPO’s funding and supplies were exhausted. In 2014, victim assistance effectively halted in Sudan due to a suspension of ICRC’s activities in the country from February to September and a lack of funding.

The situation for economic inclusion initiatives or psychosocial support improved significantly with increased international funding for victim assistance from 2007–2012. Within the framework of the National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework 2007–2011, these programs were implemented by national organizations and coordinated by NMAC, with support from the UN Mine Action Office (UNMAO). In June 2011, UNMAO completed the handover of its victim assistance program to NMAC.

Following the handover, funding for economic inclusion programs and psychosocial support for survivors and other persons with similar needs began to decline, causing the closure of several such programs; these were not replaced by other programs. At the same time, from 2011 through 2013, poor security conditions in Sudan’s southern states and the Darfur region prevented survivors from accessing those services that were available.

Since 2011, the establishment of a victim assistance program as part of the African Union/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in 2012 increased information available about the needs of ERW survivors and other persons with disabilities and increased economic inclusion opportunities.

The establishment of the National Disability Council (NDC) in 2010 increased opportunities for the coordination of victim assistance and disability issues at national and state levels.

Victim assistance in 2015

The continuing conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile reduced the availability of emergency care and all other victim assistance services in those states.

In 2015, the ICRC’s activities continued unimpeded, following the disruption to services in 2014.

Assessing victim assistance needs

In 2015, the UNAMID–Darfur Ordnance Disposal Office continued to work with disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and social workers to identify, through individual case studies, the needs of landmine and ERW survivors. This information was shared with the Ministry of Social Affairs and NMAC.[12]

Victim assistance coordination[13]

Government coordinating body/focal point

Nationwide: NMAC;

In Darfur: NMAC and Ministry of Social Affairs

Coordinating mechanism

Victim assistance working group (VAWG), chaired by NMAC; Victim assistance/disability coordination working group (VACWG) in Darfur


No active victim assistance plan; National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework 2007–2011


In central and eastern Sudan, all victim assistance services are provided by international and national organizations and NGOs; no specific victim assistance services are offered by the government of Sudan. NMAC leads the inter-ministerial, inter-sectoral coordination mechanism for victim assistance, with the exception of programs in Darfur targeting ERW survivors and other persons with disabilities, which are coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

In 2015, NMAC continued to convene monthly meetings of the VAWG in Khartoum to share information on progress in implementing ongoing projects, to exchange information on experiences and best practices, to prioritize needs and mobilize resources, and to discuss issues such as the CRPD, data collection, physical rehabilitation, and socioeconomic reintegration.[14]

NMAC and the Ordnance Disposal Office, in coordination with the Ministry of Social Affairs, jointly convened monthly meetings of the VACWG in Darfur. These meetings served as the main forum where all actors working in victim assistance and disability met to share information and experiences.[15]

The National Strategic Framework of Victim Assistance and the Victim Assistance Multi-Year Plan 2007–2011 had expired by 2012. In August 2016, the Association for Aid and Relief, supported by UNMAS, hosted the first Development of National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework Workshop in Khartoum. The workshop partially fulfills NMAC’s desire to update the victim assistance action plan, and additional workshops will be held to finalize the process.[16]

Sudan provided updates on progress and challenges for victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in June 2015 and May 2016 and through the completion of Form J of the Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report for calendar year 2015. Both oral and written reporting provided information on victim assistance implementation; capacity-building of local organizations, including DPOs; and on efforts to coordinate victim assistance and disability efforts.[17]

Participation and inclusion in victim assistance

Landmine victims’ associations and DPOs participate in monthly coordination meetings of the VAWG and are involved in the implementation of victim assistance programs.[18]

In 2015, in Darfur, the Ordnance Disposal Office conducted training sessions with persons with disabilities on how to run effective NGOs, the rights of persons with disabilities, and the inclusion of ERW survivors. Also in Darfur, survivors and other persons with disabilities were involved in the provision of psychosocial support and income-generating projects through the Union of Persons with Disabilities in the region.[19]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[20]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2015

National Authority for Prosthetics and Orthotics (NAPO)


Seven rehabilitation centers with mobile workshops, includes limited psychological counseling


National Disability Council


Funding program for DPOs


Elfasher Association of the Disabled (FSD)

Regional DPO

Data collection economic inclusion, psychosocial support; prosthetics repair center in Darfur

Increased referrals to ICRC facilities

Sudan Association for Combating Landmines (JASMAR)

National NGO

Economic reintegration targeting disabled former combatants, including mine/ERW survivors; community-based healthcare in Kassala state


Cheshire Home for Disabled Children

National NGO

Prosthetic & orthotic services for children with disabilities



International organization

Assisted NAPO rehabilitation centers (main center in Khartoum, five satellite centers and one mobile clinic) with materials and training; supported development of repair center in Darfur

Able to again provide full range of services in 2015, as activities were unimpeded


Emergency and continuing medical care

Six hospitals received ongoing ICRC support to provide emergency and medical support to war-wounded persons. Of those hospitals, four—three in Darfur and one in West Kordofan—provided statistics on the numbers of persons assisted. In Khartoum, the ICRC provided ad hoc material and technical support to several hospitals and the Ministry of Health.[21]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

In 2015, the number of mine/ERW survivors who received prosthetics through ICRC-supported NAPO rehabilitation centers significantly increased over 2014, as ICRC support was uninterrupted. The ICRC also supported the renovation of the NAPO center in Khartoum and supported the construction of a new in-patient facility in Nyala, which serves persons with disabilities from Darfur and West Kordofan. The ICRC also supported several mobile prosthetic clinics and provided subsistence and transportation allowances for those who could not afford it. In Khartoum, the Cheshire Home for Disabled Children prosthetic workshop provided good quality prosthetics and orthoses to hundreds of children.[22]

Economic inclusion

In Darfur, programs targeting ERW victims, but inclusive of all persons with disabilities, provided small business training and access to credit from government funds and local banks. As part of the economic development plan, UNAMID supported the disabled union to develop its own workshop, which employs members of the union to manufacture mobility devices. UNAMID also developed plans to build vocational training centers for persons with disabilities in all five states of Darfur, but has yet to secure the funding for construction.[23]

The ICRC also provided small grants to support small business development for persons with disabilities.[24]

Psychological support and social inclusion

UNAMID continued to provide psychosocial support to ERW survivors in Darfur.[25]

In November 2015, the Ministry of Education hosted a series of courses for trainers on inclusive education. Participants were drawn from three states, Khartoum, Kassala, and South Darfur and the goal of the training was to build upon earlier efforts.[26]

Laws and policies

There are no laws in Sudan requiring accessibility in construction and the government has no programs that provide for same.[27]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[2] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Emeka Nwadike, UNAMID, 31 March 2016.

[3] Email from Netsanet Habtemariam, United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), 8 May 2016.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015).

[6]Sudan election: 2 dead as rebels disrupt S Kordofan vote,” Radio Tamazuj, 15 April 2016.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[8] Emails from Ahmed Mohamed Abdalla, NMAC, 10 June 2012; 3 April 2013; and 18 February 2014.

[10] All casualties from submunitions in 2013 occurred in Western Darfur; in 2012, in South Darfur and South Kordofan; in 2011, in Blue Nile. Prior to 2009, casualties occurred in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Kassala. Emails from Ahmed Mohamed Abdalla, NMAC, 18 February 2014; and from Mohammad Kabir, UNMAO, 24 July 2011.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[12] Email from Emeka Mwadike, UNAMID, 31 March 2016.

[13] Statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J.

[14] Statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 19–20 May 2016.

[15] Ibid.; and email from Emeka Nwadike UNAMID, 31 March 2016.

[16] UNMAS, “UNMAS Victim Assistance Strategic Frame Work Plan Workshop, Khartoum, Sudan,” 31 August 2016; and statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, 19–20 May 2016.

[17] Statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 25 June 2015; statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 19–20 May 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[18] Statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 19–20 May 2016.

[19] Ibid.; and email from Emeka Nwadike, UNAMID, 31 March 2016.

[20] Statement of Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 19–20 May 2016; JASMAR Human Security Organization, e-newsletter, Issue # 73, March 2015; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2015: Sudan,” pp. 214–218, Geneva, 2016.

[21] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015: Sudan,” Geneva, 2016, p. 216.

[22] Ibid., p. 217.

[23] Email from Emeka Nwadike, UNAMID, 31 March 2016; and UNMAS, “Keeping People at the Centre of Victim Assistance in Darfur,” undated.

[24] ICRC, “Sudan: Facts and Figures 2015,” undated.

[25] Email from Emeka Nwadike, UNAMID, 31 March 2016.

[27] Unites States Department of State, “2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Sudan,” Washington, DC, 13 April 2016.