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Senegal

Last Updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

Senegal is affected by mines and other explosive ordnance, the result of fighting between the Senegalese armed forces and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance, MFDC) in Casamance.[1] The districts of Djibanar (formerly called Diattacounda), Niaguis, and Nyassia, situated between the Senegal river and the border with Guinea-Bissau, have been identified as the most contaminated.[2]

Mines

There is not yet a precise assessment of the extent of contamination, although the most credible estimate was provided in May 2012. Senegal informed the intersessional Standing Committee meetings that 36 suspected localities covering an estimated area of 3.5km2 required technical survey and might require clearance.[3] Handicap International (HI) has estimated that total contamination covered some 5km2.[4] In March 2011, Senegal had estimated that contamination across 106 suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) covered an estimated area of some 13.2km2.[5]

An Emergency Landmine Impact Survey (ELIS) in 2005–2006 had estimated that approximately 11km2 of land and 63km of tracks/paths were mine-affected across 149 SHAs in 93 “localities.” In 2008, Senegal acknowledged that the ELIS “might have overestimated the number of affected areas.”[6] At the same time, however, it was not possible to visit certain suspected areas during the ELIS.[7] Subsequently, an additional 11 SHAs were found in 2011 in Gouraf in Ziguinchor region that were not included before in the ELIS.[8] The total number of other SHAs identified has not been reported. In May 2012, Senegal stated that survey had been suspended in Bignona department for security reasons.[9]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

Internal armed conflict has also resulted in a problem with explosive remnants of war (ERW). In a voluntary Article 10 annual report, submitted prior to becoming a State Party to Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V on ERW, Senegal noted that ERW were mainly found in the Casamance region.[10] There is no evidence of any problem with cluster munition remnants.

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators

Body

Situation on 1 January 2012

National Mine Action Authority

National Commission for the Implementation of the Ottawa Convention

Mine action center

CNAMS

International operators

Handicap International

National operators

Senegalese armed forces

The National Commission for the Implementation of the Ottawa Convention (National Commission) serves as the National Mine Action Authority for Senegal. Demining operations in Casamance are coordinated by the Senegalese National Mine Action Center (Centre National d’Action Antimines du Sénégal, CNAMS). Regional mine action coordination committees have been established in Kolda, Sédhiou, and Ziguinchor.[11] Each regional committee is chaired by the respective Governor.[12]

Sporadic technical assistance, in particular through a technical or chief technical advisor, has been provided to the program by UNDP since June 2008.[13] In May 2012, without referring specifically to UNDP, Senegal stated that “slowness in the procedures of certain partners” had “significantly delayed the initiation and conduct of projects.”[14]

A revised strategic mine action plan was adopted by the National Commission in November 2009.[15] In March 2012, Senegal reported that a demining plan had been validated and was being implemented in the framework of funding provided by the European Commission.[16]

HI remained the only international demining operator in Senegal during 2011. It expected to continue operations until mid-September 2012 under European Commission funding contracted by UNDP. It was not known whether HI would continue mine action operations in Senegal after that date and the question of who would use the demining machine procured in 2011 once that contract expired remained to be clarified by CNAMS.[17] In May 2012, CNAMS noted that Norwegian People’s Aid had decided to support Senegal through the establishment of a mine action program in Senegal. Another demining operator was also being contracted.[18]

Program evaluations

The first program evaluation was planned for the end of 2009.[19] This does not appear to have taken place. None has since been reported.

Land Release

In 2011, HI cleared nine mined areas totaling almost 29,000m2. HI had 23 deminers in two manual clearance teams and one mechanical team.[20] In 2010, HI cleared 7,800m2 from two sites.

HI procured a Digger 3 demining machine in 2011, which arrived in Senegal at the end of May.[21] CNAMS has noted that the demining machine has improved productivity.[22] Indeed, in 2012 through mid-May, HI reported that it had already conducted technical survey of 24,924m2 and clearance of 94,554m2.[23]

 Five-year summary of land release: 2007–2011

Year

Mined area cleared (km2)

2011

0.03

2010

0.01

2009

0.03

2008

N/R

2007

0

Total

0.07

N/R = Not reported

Survey in 2011

According to Senegal, survey has resulted in a better understanding of SHAs in Senegal with the result that precise information has been obtained for eight of the nine departments in Casamance. Security has prevented the completion of survey in Bignona.[24] HI has reported releasing seven areas totaling 58,632m2 through technical survey  in 2011.[25]

Mine clearance in 2011

During mine clearance of nine mined areas covering a total of 28,976m2, HI reportedly destroyed 31 antipersonnel mines, three antivehicle mines, and four items of unexploded ordnance (UXO).[26] Senegal has reported total clearance for 2011, though this seems to include release by technical survey , of 19 SHAs and 108,591m2.[27]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the seven-year extension request granted in 2008), Senegal is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2016.

In granting the extension request, the Ninth Meeting of States Parties noted that Senegal “does not yet have a clear knowledge of size and location of areas that will actually warrant mine clearance.” It further observed that “the commitment made by Senegal to undertake technical survey activities and to develop a cancellation procedure may result in implementation that proceeds much faster than that suggested by the amount of time requested and in a more cost-effective manner.”[28]

At the Second Review Conference, Senegal expressed its hope that it would have fulfilled its Article 5 obligations before 2015 if the peace process continues.[29] Senegal previously stated its intention not to seek a second extension period, except for “truly exceptional circumstances.”[30] Concerns remain, however, that Senegal will not meet its revised Article 5 deadline. In May 2012, Senegal reported that it had released by clearance and technical survey a total of only 320,000m2 since demining operations effectively began in 2008, with clearance of 215 antipersonnel mines.[31]

Demining by non-state armed groups

The MFDC is not known to have carried out any humanitarian demining.

Quality management

The Senegalese Mine Action Standards (Normes Sénégalaises d’Action Antimines) were developed in 2008–2009 and adopted in May 2009 by the National Commission.[32] A quality control team with four inspectors was set up within CNAMS. From July 2009 through 29 June 2010, an international technical advisor for quality assurance supported the mine action program.[33] Clearance operations completed in Bacounoume, Darsalam, Etafoune, and Kaguitte have undergone quality control. Cleared land in these areas was handed over in March 2011.[34]

Safety of demining personnel

There were no demining accidents in 2011.[35]

Risk Education

In 2011, 300 elementary and primary school teachers were trained and have integrated risk education into their lessons.[36]

 



[1] Casamance is an area in the south of the country between the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.

[2] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, Executive Summary, 22 October 2008, p. 2.

[3] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[4] Email from Simon Wooldridge, Desk Officer, HI, 14 May 2012.

[5] Email from Amb. Papa Omar Ndiaye, Director, CNAMS, 16 March 2011. See also, “Sénégal: synthèse d’informations de l’action contre les mines et les restes explosifs de guerre (dont sous-munitions)” (“Senegal: summary of information on mine/ERW action including submunitions”), Second African Francophone Seminar on Mine Action and ERW, Dakar, Senegal, 2–4 November 2009, p. 1.

[6] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 2 April 2008, p. 9.

[7] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, Executive Summary, 22 October 2008, p. 2.

[8] Email from Jean-François Lepetit, Head of Mission in Senegal, HI, 27 February 2011.

[9] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[10] Voluntary CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for the period 1 January to 5 August 2008), Form A.

[11] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 June 2010.

[12] See, www.cnams.org.   

[13] Email from Manuel Gonzal, Technical Advisor for Operations and Quality Control, UNDP, 27 July 2009; and interview with Ibrahima Seck, Chief of Operations and Information Management, CNAMS, Ziguinchor, 24 June 2009; and email from Jean-François Lepetit, HI, 9 September 2011.

[14] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[15] Email from Amb. Papa Omar Ndiaye, CNAMS, 5 February 2010.

[16] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), p. 21.

[17] Email from Simon Wooldridge, HI, 14 May 2012.

[18] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[19] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Amb. Papa Omar Ndiaye, CNAMS, 1 May 2009.

[20] Email from Simon Wooldridge, HI, 14 May 2012.

[21] Email from Jean-François Lepetit, HI, 30 May 2011.

[22] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[23] Email from Simon Wooldridge, HI, 15 May 2012.

[24] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[25] Email from Simon Wooldridge, HI, 14 May 2012.

[26] Ibid. In its Article 7 report for 2011, Senegal reported the destruction of six items of UXO. Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form G.

[27] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), p. 21.

[29] Statement of Senegal, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 2 December 2009.

[30] Statement of Senegal, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 25 November 2008. See also Senegal, “Observations on the Report of the Analysing Group,” 11 September 2008, pp. 2–3; and Response to Monitor questionnaire by Amb. Papa Omar Ndiaye, CNAMS, 1 May 2009.

[31] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[32] Email from Amb. Papa Omar Ndiaye, CNAMS, 5 February 2010.

[33] Email from Manuel Gonzal, UNDP, 1 July 2010.

[34] Emails from Amb. Papa Omar Ndiaye, CNAMS, 16 March 2011; and from Jean-François Lepetit, HI, 9 September 2011.

[35] Email from Simon Wooldridge, HI, 15 May 2012.

[36] Statement of Senegal, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 21 May 2012.