South Sudan

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 August 2016

Summary: Non-signatory South Sudan has expressed interest in acceding to the convention since it became an independent state in July 2011. Its Council of Ministers was considering the accession package as of September 2015. South Sudan has participated as an observer in several meetings of the convention, including the First Review Conference in September 2015.

South Sudan states that it has not used or produced cluster munitions and denies stockpiling them. Remnants of air-dropped cluster bombs were discovered outside the town of Bor in February 2014, after fighting between government forces and opposition fighters. South Sudan denied this use of cluster munitions, as did Uganda, which was providing air-support to the government at the time.

Policy

The Republic of South Sudan has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

South Sudan has expressed its support for the convention and intent to join since it became an independent state on 9 July 2011. The convention’s universalization coordinators reported in January 2016 that only administrative procedures must be completed before South Sudan can accede.[1]

South Sudan participated as an observer in the convention’s First Review Conference held in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015. In an address to the high-level segment of the meeting, the chair of South Sudan’s mine action authority, Jurkuch Barach Jurkuch, informed States Parties that the country is working “to finalize the process of joining” the convention.[2] The statement found that cluster munitions pose a threat to civilians and concluded, ”Please be assured, that South Sudan will join any time from now.”

On 7 December 2015, South Sudan was absent from the vote on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[3] It was also absent from the first round of voting on the draft resolution on 4 November 2015.[4]

South Sudan has participated as an observer the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015 and in annual Meetings of States Parties in 2011–2012 and 2014 as well as the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2013. It has also attended regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Kampala, Uganda in May 2015.[5]

South Sudan joined the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 November 2011 through a rarely used process of “succession.”[6] It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

South Sudan stated in September 2011 that it does not stockpile cluster munitions.[7] At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2014, South Sudan again stated that it “does not produce nor possess any cluster munitions” and declared, “we do not intend to acquire or use cluster bombs.”[8]

The Monitor has seen no evidence to indicate past production, export, or stockpiling of cluster munitions by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) prior to the country becoming an independent state.

Use

In February 2014, evidence emerged showing that cluster munitions had been used in the period since mid-December 2013 outside of Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, during fighting between opposition forces loyal to South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government forces backed up with air-support provided by Uganda, a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In the week of 7 February 2014, UN mine action personnel found the remnants of at least eight RBK-250-275 cluster bombs and an unknown quantity of intact unexploded AO-1SCh submunitions by a major road 16 kilometers south of Bor in an area not known to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants before mid-December 2013.[9]

Both South Sudanese and Ugandan forces are believed to possess fixed wing aircraft and helicopters capable of delivering these types of cluster munitions, while South Sudan’s opposition forces are not believed to possess any means of delivery.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the UN’s discovery of the cluster bomb remnants near Bor and condemned the new use of cluster munitions without indicating who the UN believed was responsible for the use or if an investigation would be undertaken.[10] The CMC condemned the use of cluster munitions and called for an immediate investigation.[11]

South Sudan denied using cluster munitions in the conflict and also denied Ugandan use of the weapons.[12] At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2014, South Sudan did not accept responsibility for the cluster munition use, which it described it as an “unfortunate incident” but pledged not to use cluster munitions. It said that a joint investigation conducted with the UN could not determine who used the cluster munitions found in Bor.[13]

At the same meeting, Uganda denied that its armed forces possess cluster bombs and stated that Uganda did not use the weapons in South Sudan.[14] In September 2015, Uganda reiterated that it does not “use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions.”[15]

The use of cluster munitions in South Sudan received strong media coverage as well as public outcry and condemnations or expressions of concern by at least 30 countries as of July 2016.[16] In May 2014, UN Security Council members unanimously adopted a resolution on South Sudan that noted “with serious concern reports of the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions” in Jonglei State and urged “all parties to refrain from similar such use in the future.”[17]

No other cluster munition use has been documented in South Sudan since it became independent in 2011. Prior to independence, numerous independent sources documented cluster munition remnants including unexploded submunitions in what is now South Sudan, indicating that the armed forces of Sudan sporadically used air-dropped cluster munitions there between 1995 and 2000.[18]



[2] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 8 September 2015.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution AC.1/70/L.49/Rev.1, 11 November 2015.

[6] According to the UN Office of Legal Affairs, the Mine Ban Treaty took effect for South Sudan on 9 July 2011, the date of state independence and succession. In September 2011, a South Sudan representative informed the CMC that the government would consider accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions after it joined the Mine Ban Treaty. CMC meeting with South Sudan delegation to the Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011. Notes by the CMC.

[7] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[8] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, 3 September 2014.

[9] UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014, pp. 26–27.

[10] Statement of UN Secretary-General on South Sudan, 12 February 2014. In May 2014, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) director informed the CMC that cluster munitions were used in South Sudan, but it was not possible to determine who was responsible for the use. Email from UNMAS, 13 May 2014.

[11] CMC, “Cluster munition use in South Sudan,” 31 December 2014.

[12] See, Jacey Fortin, “The Bad Bomb: Cluster Munitions, Cold Cases And A Case of Blame Game in South Sudan,” International Business Times, 12 March 2014.

[13] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, 3 September 2014.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

[16] The following states have expressed concern at and/or condemned the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan: Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, South Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mauritania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). The statements were made at the convention’s meetings and at the UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security and UN Security Council.

[17] The 15 states were the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) and 10 non-permanent members: Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, South Korea, and Rwanda. See, UN Security Council press statement, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), extends mandate of mission in South Sudan,” 27 May 2014. See also, CMC, “Cluster munition use in South Sudan,” 31 December 2014.

[18] Virgil Wiebe and Titus Peachey, “Clusters of Death: The Mennonite Central Committee Cluster Bomb Report,” ch. 4, July 2000. Landmine Action photographed a Rockeye-type cluster bomb with Chinese language external markings in Yei in October 2006. Additionally, clearance personnel in Sudan have identified a variety of submunitions, including the Spanish-manufactured ESPIN 21, US-produced M42 and Mk-118 (Rockeye), and Soviet-manufactured PTAB-1.5. Handicap International, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 55.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 20 October 2015

Policy

Less than six months after becoming an independent state on 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan joined the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 November 2011 through the rarely used process of “succession.” According to the UN Office of Legal Affairs, the Mine Ban Treaty took effect for South Sudan on 9 July 2011, the date of state independence and succession.[1]

In December 2012, South Sudan reported that it was aware of its obligations under Article 9 of the Mine Ban Treaty to “take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress” any prohibited activity.[2] In its 2013, 2014, and 2015 transparency reports, South Sudan reported that it is aware of its Article 9 obligation, but has not yet taken any legal measures.[3]

South Sudan submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 2012 and provided annual updated reports in April 2013, 2014, and August 2015.[4]

South Sudan has participated in every Mine Ban Treaty Meeting of States Parties, including the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2013. It attended the treaty’s Third Review Conference in June 2014. South Sudan has participated in every intersessional Standing Committee meeting held in Geneva since 2012, including those held in April 2014.

Use

In August 2014, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) accused the South Sudanese government of emplacing landmines along routes used by civilians fleeing to Sudan in the Greater Upper Nile Region.[5] The SPLM also accused government forces of placing landmines near villages in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states. In response, spokesperson for the South Sudanese armed forces, Joseph Marier, stated that the South Sudanese army had destroyed all stocks of landmines they had previously possessed.[6]

In March 2015, a report released by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) claimed that an officer in the South Sudanese army confirmed the use of antipersonnel landmines around Nassir during a meeting the same month. The report called on the Special Envoys from South Sudan to IGAD to “take urgent and robust action” to address these allegations, and that the government swiftly remove the landmines in Nassir and take appropriate action against the implicated officers. The ICBL condemned the alleged use in a letter to Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, and called on the government to confirm or deny the allegations.[7] A spokesperson for the South Sudanese army denied claims of use, stating, “we are using barbed wire to make fences, not landmines.”[8]

In March 2015, Riek Machar, former South Sudanese Vice President and leader of opposition forces, sent a letter to the UN requesting a field survey of the Upper Nile State due to the claims of use by government forces of landmines, cluster munitions, and booby traps throughout the region.[9] In the same month, Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) spokesperson Col. Lony T. Ngunden, claimed that the South Sudanese government imported landmines from Uganda and placed them near several towns in northern South Sudan.[10]

Non-state armed groups

In April 2015, the government’s South Sudanese Demining Commission accused the SPLM of landmine use. Simon Jundi Both, acting executive director for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) Mine Action Program called these allegations unsubstantiated.[11]

In June 2015, Aweil West County Commissioner Garang Kuac Ariath, testified to the Northern Bahr al Ghazal State’s Legislative Assembly on security concerns in his county. In his testimony, he accused rebel forces of deploying landmines in the Achana and Nyinbouli areas.[12]

Production and transfer

South Sudan has declared that “There are not and never have been anti-personnel mine production facilities in South Sudan.”[13] It has also reported that it “does not have capability or an amenity for the production of the anti-personnel mine and has no intension [sic] whatsoever to produce them in the future.”[14]

There is no information available on past transfers.

Stockpiling and destruction

In accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Mine Ban Treaty, the deadline for South Sudan to destroy any stockpiles of antipersonnel mines was 9 July 2015.

Before independence, the southern-based rebel movement the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) stockpiled and used antipersonnel mines.[15]

In December 2012, South Sudan reported that it had destroyed 10,566 stockpiled antipersonnel mines and also reported the discovery of previously unknown stocks of antipersonnel mines in former camps of the Sudan Armed Forces, stating that it had discovered four PMN antipersonnel mines that would be destroyed. It listed 30 different types of antipersonnel mines that have been destroyed in the course of mine clearance operations.[16]

In April 2013, South Sudan declared that the government destroyed 6,000 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in March 2008 and no longer had a stockpile.[17] The National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) issued a letter confirming that the previously reported statement made by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Eleventh Meeting of the State Parties in 2012, regarding discovery of new stockpiles of antipersonnel mines, was made in error.[18]

In April 2014, South Sudan again reported that 6,000 antipersonnel mines have been destroyed from stocks and said “South Sudan does not have any stockpiles of antipersonnel mine, all identified or discovered Antipersonnel Mine stockpiles have been destroyed by the competent authority in March 2008.”[19]

South Sudan is not retaining any antipersonnel mines for training.[20] This has been confirmed in its Article 7 reports.[21] South Sudan has also stated that “it has no intention to retain some anti-personnel landmines for the purpose of training and research development.”[22]



[1] See, “South Sudan,” on the Mine Ban Convention website. The Republic of the Sudan signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 13 October 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 April 2004. Under the “succession” process, a newly independent state may declare that it will abide by a treaty that was applicable to it prior to its independence.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, December 2012. In Sudan, a Mine Action Law adopted by Presidential Decree #51 on 31 March 2010 prohibits antipersonnel mines and includes penalties for violations.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2013; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2014; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, August 2015.

[4] The initial report covers the period from 11 July 2011 to 1 September 2012, while the report provided in April 2013 is for the period from September 2012–April 2013, the report provided in April 2014 covers calendar year 2013, and the report submitted in August 2015 covers calendar year 2014.

[5]South Sudan rebels accuse government of planting landmines,” Sudan Tribune, 13 August 2014.

[8] Ilya Gridneff, “South Sudan Army’s Lan-Mine Use Escalates War, Monitor Says,” Bloomberg, 30 March 2015.

[9] Ibid.

[13] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2013. In November 2011, South Sudan informed States Parties that it does not possess facilities for the production of landmines. Statement of South Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 28 November 2011. Notes by the ICBL.

[14] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2014.

[15] In 1996, the SPLM/A declared a moratorium on antipersonnel mine use and reasserted its pledge to not use mines in 1999. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 182. The SPLM/A subsequently signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment in 2001. See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 575. In January 2002, the SPLM/A and the government of Sudan signed the Nuba Mountains cease-fire agreement in which both parties agreed to stop using mines. See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 534. In 2005, the SPLM/A entered into a Sudanese government of national unity and was bound by the obligations of the Mine Ban Treaty. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 652–653.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and H, December 2012.

[17] Ibid., Forms B and D, April 2013. The report did not mention the four newly-discovered mines declared in 2012.

[18] Email from Lance Malin MBE, Programme Manager for South Sudan, UNMAS, 14 October 2013.

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2014.

[20] Statement of South Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 28 November 2011. Notes by the ICBL.

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, December 2012; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2013; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2014.

[22] Statement of South Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, June 2014.


Mine Action

Last updated: 25 November 2016

Contaminated by: landmines (heavy contamination), cluster munition remnants (medium contamination), and other unexploded ordnance (UXO). 

Article 5 Deadline: 9 July 2021
(Not on track to meet deadline

Non-signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

As of the end of 2015, the Republic of South Sudan had a total of nearly 98km2 suspected to contain antipersonnel mines and more than 6.5km2 suspected to contain cluster munition remnants. New hazardous areas continue to be identified on a monthly basis. 

Despite the challenges posed by ongoing armed conflict, 2015 was one of the most productive years in over a decade of mine action in South Sudan, with the largest ever amount of mined area released through clearance and technical survey. 5.2km2 of mine contaminated land was released through clearance and technical survey, and just over 1.4km2 of cluster munition contaminated land was released through clearance.

Recommendations for action

  • South Sudan should increase its financial support for operational mine action. Greater support should also be provided to the National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) to build its capacity to develop effective mine action plans and policies.
  • Continued efforts should be made to ensure accurate reporting by operators of mine action data and recording according to International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) land-release terminology.
  • South Sudan should develop a resource mobilization strategy and initiate policy dialogue with development partners on long-term support for mine action.
  • South Sudan should ensure that every effort is made to identify and address all cluster munition remnants on its territory as soon as possible.
  • Operator and national reporting formats should disaggregate submunitions from other UXO.

Contamination 

South Sudan is heavily contaminated by antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, and other explosive weapons which were used regularly during nearly 50 years of Sudanese civil war in 1955–1972 and 1983–2005, prior to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005, leading to the independence of South Sudan in July 2011. Following two years of independence and relative peace in South Sudan, heavy fighting erupted in the capital city, Juba, on 15 December 2013, commencing a new multi-dimensional conflict across the country.

Civilians continued to be killed and injured by antipersonnel mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in 2015. A total of 75 victims of antipersonnel mines and ERW were recorded in 2015, of whom 18 were killed and 57 injured; this represented an alarming increase on the 38 victims recorded in 2014.[1] As of 1 August 2016, a further 38 victims had been reported, of whom 10 were killed and 28 injured.[2] (See the Casualties and Victim Assistance country profile for further details.)

In 2016, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) reported that the socio-economic cost of mines and ERW in South Sudan in terms of interrupted agricultural production, food insecurity, halted commerce, and the lack of freedom of movement was “incalculable.”[3] UNMAS estimated that explosive hazards threatened eight million people, including more than 1.66 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), local communities, peacekeepers, and humanitarian aid workers.[4] 

Mine contamination

As of the end of 2015, South Sudan had a total of 303 areas suspected to contain antipersonnel mines, covering a total area of nearly 98km2, as set out in the table below.[5]

Mine and ERW contamination as at end 2015[6]

Type of contamination

CHAs

Area (m2)

SHAs

Area (m2)

Antipersonnel mines

0

0

303

98,403,022

Antivehicle mines

0

0

81

1,925,118

Cluster munition remnants

0

0

116

6,539,394

Other UXO

0

0

403

3,425,974

Total

0

0

903

110,293,508

Note: CHAs = confirmed hazardous areas; SHAs = suspected hazardous areas. 

All 10 of South Sudan’s states contain suspected mined areas, with Central Equatoria the most heavily contaminated, followed by East Equatoria and Jonglei (see table below).[7] 

Antipersonnel mine contamination by province as at end 2015[8]

Province

SHAs

Area (m2)

Central Equatoria

176

5,530,095

East Equatoria

61

6,138,069

Jonglei

33

30,671,671

Lakes

3

35,537

North Bahr El Ghazal

2

80,100

Unity

4

13,252,160

Upper Nile

8

39,173,412

West Bahr El Ghazal

3

2,827,433

West Equatoria

13

694,545

Total

303

98,403,022

 

The full extent of South Sudan’s mine and ERW contamination remains unknown. SHAs continue to be identified, while the existing threat is being compounded by the renewed heavy fighting since December 2013, which continues to result in new UXO contamination, particularly in Unity, Upper Nile, Greater Equatoria, and Jonglei states.[9] Ongoing conflict in these states persisted in making access to certain areas extremely limited, severely impeding efforts to confirm or address contamination.[10] 

Despite the signature of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan in August 2015, UNMAS reported that sporadic fighting continued across the country in 2016, which it said “continues to litter vast swathes of land, roads and buildings with explosive hazards.”[11] Even with an increase in clearance activities in 2015, UNMAS reported that up to 150 new hazardous areas were recorded in the IMSMA database each month, including antipersonnel and antivehicle mine contamination from past conflicts in areas previously unsurveyed.[12]

In 2015, the Monitor recorded a number of allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines by government and non-state armed groups. (See the Mine Ban country profile for further details.

Cluster munition contamination

At the end of 2015, South Sudan had a total of 116 areas suspected to contain cluster munition remnants, with a total size estimated at more than 6.5km2.[13] Areas of cluster munition contamination from decades of pre-independence conflict continued to be identified in 2015, and the threat was compounded by the fighting that broke out in December 2013.[14] 

Eight of the 10 states in South Sudan have areas suspected to contain cluster munition remnants (see table below); Central, Eastern, and Western Equatoria remain the most heavily contaminated.[15] Cluster munition remnants have been found in residential areas, farmland, pastures, rivers and streams, on hillsides, in desert areas, in and around former military barracks, on roads, in minefields, and in ammunition storage areas.[16]

As of the end of 2014, UNMAS reported that 108 known dangerous areas containing cluster munition remnants remained totaling 7.5km2.[17] In 2015, an additional 70 cluster munition-contaminated areas were identified in seven states. Of these, 26 were cleared during the year.[18]

Cluster munition contamination by province as at the end of 2015[19]

Province

Hazardous area

Area (m2)

Central Equatoria

44

2,527,992

East Equatoria

45

2,411,127

Jonglei

5

121,917

Lakes

3

920,186

Unity

1

40,000

Upper Nile

2

0

West Bahr El Ghazal

2

55,962

West Equatoria

14

462,210

Total

116

6,539,394

  

From 1995 to 2000, prior to South Sudan’s independence, Sudanese government forces are believed to have air dropped cluster munitions sporadically in southern Sudan. Many types of submunitions have been found, including Spanish-manufactured HESPIN 21, US-manufactured M42 and Mk118 (Rockeyes), Chilean-made PM-1, and Soviet-manufactured PTAB-1.5 and AO-1SCh submunitions.[20]

UNMAS discovered evidence of new cluster munition contamination in February 2014, south of Bor in Jonglei state.[21] Evidence indicated the cluster munitions had been used in previous weeks during the conflict between opposition forces supporting South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government forces, which received air support from Uganda.[22] In September 2014, South Sudan reported that a joint government-UNMAS team had investigated and established that cluster munitions had been used, but could not determine the user.[23] 

UNMAS reported that sporadic fighting continued across the country in 2016, which it said “continues to litter vast swathes of land, roads and buildings with explosive hazards.”[24] Ongoing insecurity, particularly in Greater Upper Nile region (Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states), persisted in preventing access to confirm or address cluster munition contamination.[25] 

Cluster munition contamination in South Sudan continues to pose a physical threat to local populations, prevents the delivery of vital humanitarian aid, curtails freedom of movement, and significantly impedes the development of affected communities.[26] In May 2016, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), which conducted cluster munition survey and clearance in South Sudan in 2015, reported that clearance in and around Juba county, as well as in parts of Eastern Equatoria state, had begun to address some of the humanitarian impacts of cluster munition contamination, and allowed for the delivery of food aid by the World Food Programme and the release of land for agriculture and cattle farming.[27] 

Program Management 

The NMAA is responsible for coordination, planning, and monitoring of mine action in South Sudan.[28]

UN Security Council Resolution 1996 of 2011 tasked UNMAS with supporting South Sudan in demining and strengthening the capacity of the NMAA. UNMAS, with the NMAA, has been overseeing mine action across the country through its main office in Juba, and sub-offices in Bentiu, Bor, Malakal, and Wau. UNMAS is responsible for accrediting mine action organizations, drafting national mine action standards, establishing a quality management system, managing the national database, and tasking operators.[29] The NMAA takes the lead on victim assistance and risk education.[30] 

While it is planned that eventually the NMAA will assume full responsibility for all mine action activities, South Sudan’s national strategic plan for mine action for 2012–2016 notes that the government did “not have the financial and technical capacity to support its mine action program. UN agencies, development partners, and international organizations will need to support the program in providing technical and financial assistance.”[31] 

In May 2014, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2155 in response to the conflict that broke out in December 2013. This resolution, which marked a significant change from Resolution 1996, focuses on four areas: protecting civilians; creating the conditions for humanitarian access; reporting and investigating human rights violations; and supporting the Cessation of Hostilities agreements. Significantly, most capacity development for government institutions is no longer part of the mission’s mandate.

Strategic planning 

UNMAS reported that there were no significant changes in 2015 to the current national mine action strategic plan for 2012–2016, which was developed by the NMAA with assistance from the UN and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).[32] The main objectives of the plan are to ensure that:

  • South Sudan is in a position to comply with all international instruments related to mines and ERW and can conduct and manage the national mine action program.
  • The scope and location of the mine and ERW contamination are fully recorded, and all high-impact contaminated areas are identified, prioritized, cleared, and released.
  • The national mine action program contributes to reducing poverty and increasing socio-economic development by being mainstreamed into development program.[33] 

In June 2016, UNMAS reported that a new national mine action strategic plan was under development and would be presented in January 2017.[34]

Operators 

Four international demining NGOs operated in South Sudan in 2015: DanChurchAid (DCA), Danish Demining Group (DDG), MAG, and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). Four commercial companies also conducted demining: G4S Ordnance Management (G4S), Mechem, Dynasafe MineTech Limited (DML, formerly MineTech International, or MTI), and The Development Initiative (TDI). No national demining organizations were involved in clearance in 2015.[35] 

NPA deployed three non-technical and technical survey teams integrated with eight mine detection dog (MDD) teams, along with two multi-tasking explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams.[36] MAG changed in mid-2015 from primarily conducting EOD spot clearance and community liaison to deploying multi-task teams (MTT) on large-area tasks. It deployed one MineWolf 330 and one Bozena 4 machine, along with a total of 57 demining personnel.[37] DDG did not conduct mine clearance in 2015, but operated on a call-out basis for ERW spot tasks and employed 20 staff.[38] It began a cluster munition clearance task at the end of 2015.[39] DCA deployed two teams conducting survey, BAC and EOD.[40] TDI reported deploying between two and four MTTs and two Route Assessment and Clearance Capacity (RACC) teams in 2015.[41] G4S had a capacity of two Integrated Clearance Capacity (ICC) teams, four quick response teams, and eight MTTs. MECHEM deployed two mine action teams and DML two ICC teams and six explosive dog detection teams.[42] UNMAS assigns cluster munition tasks to operators.

Standards

The National Technical Standards and Guidelines (NTSGs) for mine action in South Sudan were updated in October 2015.[43] According to UNMAS, the NTSGs cover cluster munition survey and clearance.[44] The new NTSGs are monitored by UNMAS and the NMAA.[45] 

Quality management

A new quality management system was developed in 2014 and, following approval by the NMAA, was being implemented from October 2015. According to UNMAS, the new system involves a more rigid internal policy to be adopted by operators and a new system of monitoring and evaluation to be implemented by the NMAA and UNMAS.[46] As of the end of 2015, UNMAS stated that its quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) mechanisms were focused increasingly on “the command and control of implementing partners’ management capacity.”[47] 

Land Release (Mines)

UNMAS reported that 2015 was one of the most productive years for mine clearance in South Sudan since its inception in 2004. In total, 9.54km2 was released back to local communities, including 5.1km2 released through clearance and technical survey, with the destruction of 1,715 antipersonnel mines, 473 antivehicle mines, and 27,395 items of UXO. In addition, 3,008km of roads were opened through route assessment and verification.[48]

In comparison, in 2014, UNMAS reported releasing a total of approximately 9.3km2, including 2.7km2 released through clearance and technical survey, with the destruction of 880 antipersonnel mines, 357 antivehicle mines, and 15,245 items of UXO, and a total of 407km of roads opened.[49]

Survey in 2015 (mines) 

As summarized in the table below, in 2015 a total of 33 suspected mined areas covering just under 4.4km2 were canceled through NTS, and a further 144,905m2 was reduced by technical survey. In addition, 145 areas covering nearly 3.5km2 were confirmed as mined through technical survey, according to UNMAS records.[50] This compares to the cancelation of 55 suspected mined areas covering just over 1km2 in 2014 through NTS and the release of 96,019m2 by technical survey, along with the confirmation of 107 areas comprising nearly 1.6km2.[51] UNMAS reported that the increase in survey output in 2015 was due to more survey teams being deployed and better management.[52]

Antipersonnel mine survey in 2015[53]

Operator

SHAs canceled

Area canceled (m²)

SHAs confirmed as mined

Area confirmed (m²)

Area reduced by TS (m2)

G4S

9

1,750,065

29

717,397

32,445

DML

3

47,103

33

569,326

50,528

MAG

4

1,076,227

23

97,355

61,932

NPA

9

611,764

24

564,855

0

TDI

3

769,145

25

1,205,375

0

UNMAS

5

129,734

0

0

0

DCA

0

0

2

225,853

0

DDG

0

0

5

15,964

0

MECHEM

0

0

4

113,000

0

Total

33

4,384,038

145

3,509,125

144,905

Note: TS = technical survey.

Clearance in 2015 (mines) 

A total of 110 mined areas covering more than 5.1km2 were released by clearance and technical survey in 2015, including nearly 5km2 through clearance and 0.1km2 by technical survey, with the destruction of 1,715 antipersonnel mines and 473 antivehicle mines (see table below).[54] The bulk of the clearance was conducted by two commercial operators—G4S and DML—using mechanical methods.[55]

This is nearly double the output of 2014, when approximately 2.72km2 was released through clearance and technical survey, including 2.62km2 through clearance and nearly 0.1km2 by technical survey, with 880 antipersonnel mines, 357 antivehicle mines, and 15,245 items of UXO destroyed, which UNMAS said was due to better systems in place and improved cooperation between operators in country.[56] MAG reported that a contributing factor to its significant increase in clearance output in 2015 was due to winning one mechanized contract from UNMAS for a MineWolf 330, with operations commencing in October 2014.[57] 

Mine clearance in 2015[58]

Operator

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m²)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

DCA

0

0

23

0

DDG[59]

0

0

3

0

G4S

38

1,148,587

356

115

MECHEM

0

0

2

0

MAG

21

504,137

328

14

DML

29

2,534,940

658

195

NPA

2

273,453

187

123

TDI

20

519,893

158

26

Total

110

4,981,010

1,715

473

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

Land Release (Cluster Munition Remnants)

In 2015, just over 1.4km2 of cluster munition-contaminated area was released, almost all by clearance.[60] In 2014, 1.4km2 was similarly released, of which 1.28km2 was released through clearance and 0.12km2 canceled through NTS.[61] 

Survey in 2015 (cluster munition remnants)

The UNMAS database indicates that just over 1.35km2 of land was confirmed as contaminated with cluster munition remnants and 500m2 was canceled by NTS for 2015 (see table below).[62] This is a slight decrease from 2014, when a total of 1.4km2 of land was confirmed cluster munition contaminated and 0.12km2 was canceled by NTS.[63] UNMAS reported that of the 70 areas confirmed by survey to contain cluster munition remnants in 2015, 26 were cleared during the year.[64]

Cluster munition survey in 2015[65]

Operator

Areas canceled

Area canceled (m²)

Areas confirmed

Area confirmed (m²)

UNMAS

1

500

0

0

G4S

0

0

29

428,825

MAG

0

0

6

58,492

SIMAS

0

0

2

101

DML (MTI)

0

0

13

43,009

NPA

0

0

14

275,214

TDI

0

0

6

548,602

Total

1

500

70

1,354,243

 

Clearance in 2015 (cluster munition remnants) 

Just over 1.4km2 of cluster munition-contaminated area was cleared in 2015, with the destruction of more than 1,200 submunitions, as shown in the table below.[66] This is an increase from 2014, when almost 1.28km2 was cleared with 254 submunitions destroyed.[67]

Clearance of cluster munition-contaminated areas in 2015[68]

Operator

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m²)

Submunitions destroyed

APM destroyed

AVM destroyed

UXO destroyed

DDG

3

13,704

0

0

0

3

G4S

14

1,144,459

558

0

1

46

MAG

1

10,545

17

0

0

0

Mechem

1

9,544

58

1

0

2

DML (MTI)[69]

3

0

8

0

0

2

NPA

2

154,186

592

1

0

25

TDI

3

75,655

2

0

0

10

Total

38

1,408,093

1,235

2

1

88

Note: APM = antipersonnel mine; AVM = antivehicle mine.

In addition, in 2015 eight operators (DCA, DDG, G4S, MAG, Mechem, DML, NPA, and TDI) conducted battle area clearance (BAC) of almost 4.5km2 and closed a total of 1,764 spot tasks, destroying nearly 27,400 items of UXO in the process. This is a slight decrease from the 5.57km2 of BAC conducted in 2014.[70]

Deminer safety 

No demining personnel were reported killed or injured as a result of demining accidents in 2015. However, on 12 April 2016, two members of DDG’s EOD team were killed by gunmen when their vehicle was ambushed as they travelled from their base in Yei to the field. The remaining five team members escaped unharmed.[71] The outbreak of violence across the Equatorial states in July 2016 affected many operators, including MAG, which experienced an ambush during evacuation to Nimule, on the Ugandan border, resulting in the death of one deminer and three injured staff, who later recovered after being evacuated to Uganda.[72] 

Progress in 2016

South Sudan continued to make dramatic progress in land release in the first half of 2016. From January to 1 August 2016, some 27km2 of mine and ERW contamination was released, including 16.9km2 through NTS, 2.5km2 through mine clearance and technical survey, and 7.5km2 through BAC, with the destruction of a total of 563 antipersonnel mines, 192 antivehicle mines, and 9,877 items of UXO.[73] 

In January 2016, the NMAA suspended NPA’s operations due to the discovery of a number of missed mines and UXO in an area they had released in 2015. Following an internal investigation and measures taken to improve the program, NPA resumed operations in May 2016.[74]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

In accordance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, South Sudan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 9 July 2021. South Sudan is not on track to meet this deadline.

Under its existing national mine action strategic plan for 2012–2016, South Sudan expects to have surveyed and recorded all SHAs by the end of 2016 to facilitate development of the next strategic mine action plan and to release 5km2 of CHA per year through technical survey and/or clearance, corresponding to a total of 25km2 for 2012–2016.[75]

UNMAS has highlighted the serious obstacles posed to mine action operations by ongoing fighting and insecurity, lack of access to contaminated areas, and new UXO contamination, along with continuing significant challenges from lack of infrastructure and access to vast areas of the country, and the unpredictable rainy seasons.[76] 

Mine clearance in 2011–2015[77]

Year

Area cleared or reduced (km2)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

2015

5.1

1,715

473

2014

2.72

880

357

2013

4.33

845

215

2012

4.20

1,278

156

2011

2.62

3,509

699

Total

18.97

8,227

1,900

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

UNMAS has also reported that from 2004 to end 2015, a total of 11,449 hazards have been addressed, more than 1,148km2 of land has been released, and nearly 26,300km of roads opened, with nearly 30,700 antipersonnel mines, 5,500 antivehicle mines, and 880,000 items of UXO destroyed.[78]

South Sudan’s National Mine Action Strategic Plan budget for 2012–2016 is estimated at US$204 million.[79] According to UNMAS, no national funding or in-kind support was provided by the government of South Sudan for mine action activities in 2015, except for the salaries of NMAA staff.[80] MAG reported that UNMAS’s assistance to the NMAA had been reduced to the provision of vehicles and some fuel.[81] 

In April 2015, the NMAA reported that South Sudan would develop a multi-year clearance plan for 2015–2017, including projections for clearance targets based on levels of remaining contamination, available resources, and the operational and security environment across the country. It stated that the plan would be published in “subsequent Article 7 reports” and that updates would be provided to States Parties.[82] In its Article 7 report for 2015, the NMAA stated that as funding for the national mine action program is directed through UNMAS and NGOs; it could not forecast when clearance might be completed in South Sudan.[83]

UNMAS expected 2016 to be a similarly productive year as 2015.[84] It did not foresee major changes in mine action capacity in South Sudan in 2016, and pledged to continue to support the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)’s mandate.[85]

Despite the heightened need for an urgent response to new explosive hazard contamination and the impacts of renewed conflict on the civilian population, many operators have expressed concern over decreased funding for mine action in South Sudan in 2015, with donors prioritizing other humanitarian sectors or refusing to fund mine action activities while the conflict is ongoing.[86]


 

The Monitor gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review supported and published by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which conducted mine action research in 2016 and shared it with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications. 



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2014), Form J, p. 13; and UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report—December 2014.” UNMAS reported that the actual number of new victims in 2014 was likely higher due to underreporting resulting from lack of access to contaminated areas.

[2] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – July 2016.”

[3] UNMAS, “2016 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects: South Sudan,” undated but 2016.

[4] Ibid.; and UNMAS, “UNMAS in South Sudan,” updated May 2016; World Food Programme, “Unprecedented Level of Food Insecurity in South Sudan, UN Agencies Warn,” 29 June 2016; and email from Robert Thompson, Chief of Operations, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[5] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[6] Ibid; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2015), Form C, p. 2.

[7] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015.

[8] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016. UNMAS reported that during resurvey of some of the mined areas previously recorded in a landmine impact survey, 10 recorded hazardous areas were changed to and re-recorded as battle area or UXO spot tasks. Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 October 2016.

[9] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 October 2016.

[10] UNMAS, “2016 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects: South Sudan,” undated but 2016.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid; and email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 October 2016.

[13] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[14] UNMAS, “About UNMAS in South Sudan,” updated March 2014.

[15] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[16] South Sudan, “National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, 2012, pp. 4–6, 9.

[17] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015.

[18] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 June 2016.

[19] Ibid., 21 April 2016. This is a discrepancy of two SHAs from the total number of SHAs UNMAS reported remaining as of end 2014, following the identification of 70 new cluster munition-contaminated areas and the clearance of a total of 64 SHAs, which UNMAS reported in 2015 (116 compared to 114).

[20] Cluster Munition Monitor, “Country Profile: South Sudan: Cluster Munition Ban Policy,” updated 23 August 2014. See also, UNMAS, “Reported use of Cluster Munitions South Sudan February 2014,” 12 February 2014; and UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014, p. 26.

[21] UNMAS, “Reported use of Cluster Munitions South Sudan February 2014,” 12 February 2014. See also, UNMISS, “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014, p. 26.

[22] On 7 February 2014, UNMAS UXO survey teams discovered remnants of RBK-250-275 cluster bombs and unexploded AO-1SCh submunitions on the Juba-Bor road, south of Bor in Jonglei state. The RBK-type cluster munitions are air-delivered weapons, dropped by fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. Both Uganda and the South Sudanese government forces are believed to possess aircraft that can deliver these weapons, whereas opposition forces do not. UNMISS, “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014, pp. 26–27; and Cluster Munition Monitor, “Country Profile: South Sudan: Cluster Munition Ban Policy,” updated 16 August 2014.

[23] Statement of South Sudan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, 3 September 2014.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Emails from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; and from Hilde Jørgensen, Desk Officer for Horn of Africa, NPA, 19 May 2016.

[27] Email from Bill Marsden, Regional Director East and Southern Africa, MAG, 12 May 2016.

[28] Government of the Republic of South Sudan, “South Sudan De-Mining Authority,” undated.

[29] South Sudan, “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, 2012, p. iv.

[30] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 24 May 2013.

[31] South Sudan, “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, 2012, p. iii.

[32] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; and South Sudan, “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, 2012, p. iii.

[33] South Sudan, “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, 2012, p. v.

[34] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 June 2016.

[35] Ibid., 21 April 2016. MTI changed its name to DML on 3 August 2015. Dynasafe, “History of MineTech,” undated.

[36] Emails from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 19 May 2016.

[37] Email from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016.

[38] Email from William Maina, Mine Action Operations Manager, DDG, 6 May 2016.

[39] Emails from William Maina, DDG, 6 and 19 May 2016.

[40] Email from Leonie Barns, Head of Operations, DCA, 2 August 2016.

[41] Email from Stephen Saffin, Chief Operating Officer, TDI, 30 May 2016.

[42] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 June 2016.

[43] Emails from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 19 May 2016; from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016; and from William Maina, DDG, 6 May 2016. The updated NTSGs are available here.

[44] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; and responses to questionnaires by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015; and by Augustino Seja, NPA, 11 May 2015.

[45] Email from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 19 May 2016.

[46] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 23 October 2015; and response to questionnaire, 30 March 2015.

[47] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[48] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – December 2015.”

[49] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – December 2014”; and UNMAS, “About UNMAS in South Sudan,” updated March 2015.

[50] Ibid.; and email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[51] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015; and emails, 11 May 2015, and 27 October 2015; and UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – August 2015.”

[52] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 October 2016.

[53] Ibid., 21 April 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2015), Form C. MAG reported confirming a slightly larger area of antipersonnel mine contamination with a size of 137,586m2. It stated that its community liaison teams did not conduct full NTS activities in Central and Eastern Equatoria as tasking was directed by UNMAS. Canceled land was a result of EOD assessments on large battle areas where teams were able to cancel areas where there was no evidence of contamination. NPA reported different figures for area confirmed through survey of a total of nine SHAs with a size of 259,558m2. Emails from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016; and from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 19 May 2016.

[54] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – December 2015”; email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2015), Form C.

[55] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – December 2015”; email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2015), Form C.

[56] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015; and emails, 27 October 2015, and 14 October 2016.

[57] Email from Bill Marsden, MAG, 21 October 2016.

[58] Emails from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2015), Form C; and from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016. MAG reported clearing 12 areas with a total size of 412,272m2 and destroying a total of 328 antipersonnel mines.

[59] DDG did not conduct minefield clearance in 2015. The antipersonnel mines destroyed were cleared as spot tasks. Email from William Maina, DDG, 19 May 2016.

[60] Ibid., 21 April 2016.

[61] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015.

[62] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[63] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015.

[64] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 June 2016.

[65] Ibid.; from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016; from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 19 May 2016; and from Damir Paradzik, Operations/QA Manager, DML, 2 June 2016. MAG reported confirming 10 SHAs with a total size of 166,877m2 in 2015. NPA reported confirming three SHAs with a total size of 314,116m2 through survey in 2015. G4S and Mechem did not provide information.

[66] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[67] Response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015.

[68] Emails from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016; from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016; from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 19 May 2016; from William Maina, DDG, 19 May 2016; and from Damir Paradzik, DML, 2 June 2016. MAG reported clearing one area of cluster munition contamination with a size of 9,255m2 and the destruction of 64 submunitions and 97 other items of UXO in 2015. NPA reported clearing six areas with a total size of 596,070m2 and destroying 386 submunitions and 15 other items of UXO.

[69] No area is reported as cleared as these were cluster munition remnants destroyed in spot tasks. Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 14 June 2016.

[70] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[71] Danish Refugee Council, “Two national employees have lost their lives in South Sudan,” 12 April 2016.

[72] Email from Bill Marsden, MAG, 21 October 2016.

[73] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – July 2016.”

[74] Emails from Håvard Bach, Chief Technical Advisor, Operational Methods, Department for Humanitarian Disarmament, NPA, 18 October 2016; and from Hilde Jørgensen, NPA, 18 October 2016.

[75] South Sudan, “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, 2012, pp. 16–18.

[76] UNMAS, “About UNMAS in South Sudan,” updated March 2015; and UNMAS “About UNMAS in South Sudan,” updated May 2016.

[77] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – December 2014”; response to questionnaire by Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 30 March 2015; and email, 14 October 2016.

[78] UNMAS, “IMSMA Monthly Report – December 2015.”

[79] South Sudan, “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” Juba, February 2012, p. viii.

[80] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[81] Email from Bill Marsden, MAG, 12 May 2016.

[82] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2014), Form F.

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

[84] UNMAS, “2016 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects: South Sudan,” undated but 2016.

[85] Email from Robert Thompson, UNMAS, 21 April 2016.

[86] Responses to questionnaire by Ismael Frioud, MAG, 9 April 2015; by Augustino Seja, NPA, 2 June 2015; and by Rickard Hartmann, DDG, 22 May 2015. 


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 06 October 2016

In 2015, seven donors contributed US$8.7 million for mine action activities in the Republic of South Sudan.[1]

The largest contributions came from Japan ($2.3 million) and the United States (US) ($2 million), which provided half of all support in 2015.

Victim assistance funding totaled some $1.2 million (almost one-quarter of all funding received in 2015), and came from three donors: Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands.

South Sudan also received in-kind assistance from Switzerland valued at CHF285,000 ($296,012) for clearance activities.[2]

International contributions: 2015[3]

Donor

Sector

Amount (national currency)

Amount ($)

Japan

Various

¥278,415,000

2,300,000

US

Various

$2,000,000

2,000,000

Denmark

Clearance and risk education

DKK11,250,000

1,672,539

Norway

Clearance

NOK12,000,000

1,487,339

Germany

Victim assistance

€500,000

554,800

Finland

Victim assistance

€350,000

388,360

Netherlands

Victim assistance

€260,000

288,496

Total

 

 

8,691,534

 

Between 2011–2015, there was a continuous decline in international funding to mine action in South Sudan, with contributions decreasing from $23 million in 2011 to less than $9 million in 2015.

Summary of contributions: 2011–2015[4]

Year

International contributions ($)

2015

8,691,534

2014

10,377,200

2013

19,891,553

2012

18,928,146

2011

22,946,144

Total

80,834,577

 


[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Niels Peter Berg, Head of Section, Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 June 2016; Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 4 April 2016; Japan, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2016; Netherlands, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2016; Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2016; emails from Ingrid Schoyen, Senior Adviser, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 May 2016; and from Katherine Baker, Foreign Affairs Officer, Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State, 12 September 2016; and “Aid for humanitarian mine action in 2015,” Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 29 October 2015.

[2] Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2016. Average exchange rate for 2015: CHF0.9628=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2016.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2015: DKK6.7263=US$1; €1=US$1.1096; ¥121.05=US$1; NOK8.0681=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2016.

[4] See previous Monitor reports.


Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 04 January 2017

Summary action points based on findings

  • Expand programs in line with significant unmet needs.
  • Improve economic inclusion opportunities for mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors and other persons with disabilities, which have remained low since 2012.
  • Adopt and implement the proposed national disability policy.

Victim assistance commitments

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

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2015

At least 4,899 mine/ERW casualties (1,355 killed; 3,544 injured) since 1964

Casualties in 2015

75 (2014: 38)

2015 casualties by outcome

17 killed; 58 injured (2014: 7 killed; 31 injured)

2015 casualties by device type

2 antipersonnel mines; 7 antivehicle mines; 2 cluster munitions; 39 ERW; 25 unknown

 

In 2015, the Monitor identified 75 mine/ERW casualties in South Sudan.[1] The civilian status of the casualties is unknown. Of the persons killed, eight were boys, one was a girl, and eight were adult men. Of those injured, 30 were boys, six were girls, 19 were men, and two were women.

The 75 casualties identified in 2015were nearly double the number identified in 2014 (38).[2] South Sudan attributed the increase in casualties from 2014 to population movements.[3]

A total of 4,899 mine/ERW casualties (1,355 killed; 3,544 injured) were reported in South Sudan from 1964 through the end of December 2015.[4] Casualties continued to be reported in 2016. Between January and February 2016, an additional 25 new casualties were reported, including seven people killed.[5]

Cluster munition casualties

As of December 2015, 90 casualties from cluster munitions were reported in South Sudan. Of the total, 72 casualties were caused by unexploded submunitions. In 2015, two casualties were reported by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).[6]

Victim Assistance

As of the end of 2015, 3,544 mine/ERW survivors were identified in South Sudan.[7] In 2011, the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCSW) estimated that there was a total of some 50,000 mine/ERW victims in South Sudan, including survivors, their families, and the immediate family members of people killed.[8] 

Victim assistance during the Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014 and Vientiane Action Plan 2011–2015 

As a result of decades of conflict, survivors in South Sudan have lacked basic services of all kinds. The limited services available have been almost entirely provided by international organizations. Emergency medical care has been inadequate to address the needs of mine/ERW survivors and others wounded as a result of the armed conflict, a situation worsened by the high number of casualties caused by the outbreak of violence at the end of 2013. Ongoing medical care reaches just a fraction of the population. 

Despite the very challenging security situation, there have been some improvements in the availability of physical rehabilitation for mine/ERW survivors. Increased international funding for victim assistance somewhat improved economic inclusion initiatives for mine/ERW survivors from 2007 to mid-2012. However, these programs were insufficient to meet demand and they ended in mid-2012 when international funding through UNMAS ceased. Psychological support for mine/ERW survivors is entirely absent in South Sudan. This significantly reduced, among other things, economic inclusion opportunities for mine/ERW survivors. The South Sudan Landmine Victims Association (SSLMVA) reported a decline in availability of services across all pillars of victim assistance in 2013.[9] 

The South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016 included victim assistance. The Victim Assistance Coordination Group changed its name to the Victim Assistance and Disability Working Group and steps were taken to integrate victim assistance and disability into the work of all relevant government ministries. 

Violent conflict began was still ongoing in 2016, causing a protracted crisis and disrupting victim assistance efforts. During the conflict, dozens of attacks have been reported against humanitarian organizations, limiting their ability to provide services.[10]

Victim assistance in 2015

In 2015, ongoing conflict caused widespread displacement and prevented the provision of services to survivors. There was a lack of funding for victim assistance programming and the government reported many challenges, which hindered the implementation of the Maputo Action Plan.[11]

Assessing victim assistance needs 

No needs assessments of survivors were carried out by the government of South Sudan in 2015.

Victim assistance coordination[12]

Government coordinating body/focal point

MGCSW with support from the National Mine Action Authority (NMAA)

Coordinating mechanism

Victim Assistance and Disability Working Group (VADWG) chaired by MGCSW and co-chaired by NMAA

Plan

South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016

 

The VADWG only held one meeting between September 2014 and June 2015 due to funding difficulties.[13] The 19 participating bodies included government ministries, DPOs, SSLMVA, NGO service providers, UNMAS, the ICRC, and other stakeholders.[14] 

In the UN mine action cluster strategy for 2014–2016 (developed in 2013),[15] the priority activities for victim assistance were to be a focus on community awareness and provision or development of:

  • Basic rehabilitation services;
  • Psychosocial support;
  • Income-generating activities; and
  • Referral systems. 

The strategy proposed that the sub-cluster “prioritize states where survivor assistance needs are of highest concern, including Central Equatoria, Jonglei, [and] Unity.”[16]

The VADWG has focal points within government ministries and commissions to mainstream victim assistance and disability issues throughout government structures.[17]

In 2015, some progress was made toward the first victim assistance objectives of the Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016. The three victim assistance objectives were:

  • Establish an information system for persons with disabilities to provide reliable, systematic, and comprehensive information on persons with disabilities, including landmine and ERW victims;
  • Accede to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the end of 2013[18] and adopt the necessary national laws to protect the rights of landmine/ERW survivors and persons with disabilities; and
  • Ensure equal access to rehabilitation, psychosocial (including peer support), and socio-economic inclusion services for all landmine and ERW victims, as well as women, girls, boys, and men with disabilities.[19]

Limited progress toward the implementation of the strategic plan was attributed to the decrease in donor funds for victim assistance activities.[20] One source also saw it as being due to the “constant lack of transparency amongst the national NGOs that implemented VA [victim assistance] projects in past.”[21] 

The national disability policy entered parliament for ratification in 2014, resulting in some progress toward the objective of joining the CRPD as well, but progress on both the national disability policy and accession to the CRPD stalled.[22]

In Yei country, victim assistance coordination meetings with NMAA were held irregularly due to logistical and financial constraints. The Yei Municipality Department of Gender and Social Development convened quarterly meetings with Handicap International (HI), representatives of the UN Mine Action Coordination Center (UNMACC), the Union of Persons with Disabilities (UPD), the Landmine Survivor Association (LSA), War Wounded Hero (WWH, an organization of disabled veterans), and other relevant disability-related stakeholders.[23]

South Sudan did not make any victim assistance statements at the Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties in 2015 or at the Third Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique in June 2014.

Inclusion and participation in victim assistance

Survivors and their representative organizations participated in the development of the National Disability and Inclusion Policy (2013), and in the review of the South Sudanese constitution. The National Disability and Inclusion Policy remained in draft form throughout 2015.[24]

Representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities were included in the meetings of the VADWG. Due to a lack of funds, the SSLMVA was inactive throughout 2015, severely limiting the opportunity for survivors to participate in formal meetings and conferences.[25]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[26]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2015

MGCSW

Government

Capacity-building for survivor associations and DPOs

Ongoing

NMAA

Government

Support for the national Landmine Victim Association (SSLMVA)

Reduced, leading to dormancy of SSLMVA

Ministry of Social Development of Central Equatoria and Lakes States

Government

Physical rehabilitation through the Rumbek Center and the Nile Assistance for the Disabled Center in Juba

Ongoing

Central Equatorial State Government

Government

Physical rehabilitation and psychosocial counseling through the Juba Rehabilitation Center (national referral center)

Ongoing

SSLMVA

National Survivor Network

Participation in relevant policy-making; assessment of survivors’ needs

All activities have ceased

Equatoria State Association of Disabled (ESAD)

National NGO

Skills trainings and income-generating activities in Juba, Central Equatoria state; peer support for members

All activities have ceased

HI

International NGO

Basic rehabilitation services; training for health professionals in rehabilitation; needs assessment; referrals for victim assistance services; micro-grants to DPOs; awareness-raising and advocacy on disability rights

Ongoing; some services delayed due to conflict

Organization of Volunteers for International Cooperation (OVCI)

International NGO

Community-based rehabilitation in Kator and Munuki districts, Juba, occupational therapy

Ongoing

ICRC

International organization

Emergency first-aid to conflict casualties and capacity-building for health centers’ emergency response; support for national Rehabilitation Reference Center (Juba) and Rumbek Rehabilitation Center; Physical Rehabilitation Unit in Wau

Ongoing; some programs delayed due to conflict

 

Emergency and continuing medical care 

In 2015, the ICRC maintained its operations in South Sudan, supporting 17 government and opposition-controlled hospitals to treat war-wounded individuals and deploying six surgical teams to augment national capacity. The ICRC also provided supplies and logistical support to hospitals and health centers.[27]

Physical rehabilitation including prosthetics 

The overall rehabilitation capacity in the country was insufficient to meet the demand for these services, with many survivors either unaware of rehabilitation services or unable to access the two available centers because of their distance from survivors’ homes.

The ICRC provided free support to persons with disabilities at two rehabilitation centers and a prosthetic/orthotic clinic. The ICRC and the MGCSW signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to improve the capacity of the rehabilitation centers’ staff and developed a national policy on rehabilitation.[28] 

HI trained health workers in Yei town on physical rehabilitation and continued to support rehabilitation activities at Yei hospital and two health clinics. HI also provided support for some persons to receive rehabilitation services in Juba from the ICRC-supported facilities.[29] 

Economic inclusion

HI, with support from UNMAS, provided training on small business management to hundreds of landmine survivors and persons with disabilities. Trainees also received micro-grants.[30]

The ICRC supported a self-help group in Rumbek to launch a small business and referred other survivors and persons with disability to NGOs providing vocational training.[31]

Psychological support and social inclusion 

Twenty individuals in Yei town formed three support groups that provide peer support to landmine survivors and persons with disabilities. HI hosted awareness-raising sessions to combat stigma and encourage the inclusion of persons with disabilities. HI also support the construction of ramps and adapted toilets in order to make five service providers in Yei town physically accessible.[32] 

The International Organization for Migration began a psychosocial support program for civilians in Bor, Jonglei state, focusing on internally displaced persons in 2014. The program expanded to Unity state in 2015.[33] 

Laws and policies 

As of 1 October 2016, the national disability policy was still in parliament awaiting ratification.[34]

As of 1 October 2016, South Sudan had not signed the CRPD.



[1] Email from Mohammad Kabir Rahimi, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) South Sudan, 26 March 2016; Republic of South Sudan Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J; UNMAS South Sudan, “Monthly IMSMA Report,” December 2015.

[2] UNMAS South Sudan, “IMSMA Monthly Report,” December 2015.

[3] Republic of South Sudan, Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[4] See previous editions of the Landmine Monitor.

[5] Email from Mohammad Kabir Rahimi, UNMAS South Sudan, 26 March 2016.

[6] Ibid.

[7] See previous editions of the Landmine Monitor.

[8] MGCSW, “Victim Assistance Report Southern Sudan for the year 2010 and 2011. Southern Sudan Presentation, On States Party Meeting As From 20 To 24th June, 2011,” provided by Nathan Wojia Pitia Mono, Director General, MGCSW, in Geneva, 24 June 2011.

[9] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Apollo Soro, Representative, SSLMVA, 25 April 2014.

[10] United States (US) Department of State, “Country Report on Human Rights Practices, 2015, South Sudan,” Washington, DC, 16 April 2016.

[11] Republic of South Sudan, Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Geoffrey L Duke, South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms, 14 July 2015.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Lucia Morera, HI South Sudan, 11 March 2014.

[16] “Cluster Strategy and Monitoring Plan Template 2014–2016 South Sudan CAP,” provided via email by Lucia Morera, HI South Sudan, 11 March 2014.

[17] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Nathan Pitia, MGCSW, 10 May 2013.

[18] Originally a goal that was aimed to be achieved by the end of 2012. South Sudan has yet to accede to the convention.

[19] “South Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2012–2016,” June 2012, p. vii.

[20] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Apollo Soro, SSLMVA, 25 April 2014; and by Arek John Akot Kon, UNMAS South Sudan, 24 March 2014.

[21] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Arek John Akot Kon, UNMAS South Sudan, 24 March 2014.

[22] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Charles Opoka Okumu, Acting Director General For Social Welfare, Ministry of Gender Child and Social Welfare, 7 August 2015; interview with Geoffrey L Duke, South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms, 14 October 2016.

[23] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Omar Gamdullaev, Victim Assistance Project Manager, HI, 3 April 2016.

[24] Interview with Geoffrey L Duke, South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms, 14 October 2016.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.; response to Monitor questionnaire from Omar Gamdullaev, HI, 3 April 2016; ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016; and UNMAS South Sudan, “Mine Action News November 2015,” undated.

[27] ICRC “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 210.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Omar Gamdullaev, HI, 3 April 2016.

[30] Ibid.

[31] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 210.

[32] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Omar Gamdullaev, HI, 3 April 2016.

[33] “South Sudan: from Italy 1 million Euros for psychological support IDPs,” ItalyUN.it, 5 July 2015.

[34] Interview with Geoffrey L Duke, South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms, 14 October 2016.